Skip to main content

Full text of "The Beat Within 13.10"

See other formats


,J have a dream that 
one daif our socletif 
will take pride In our 
eMVlroftme/fts, and 
mderstaftd that It 
Is ffot as poisoned 
as the media dls- 
platfs It to he. 

read the rest of ?, Crooks' TOW oh page 5 

^irmmmimi/mf/ j^ . /// * ////#/ 

IV S Hoafl for us to believe, given the ever changing 
Beat personnel, for better or for worse, which we have been 
faced with the couple of month or so, it's truly a wonder, damn 
neskt incredible, we have this mighty 13.10 issue in your hands 
today. This editor wants to give thanks and praise to all you 
young typist and you editors who stepped up this week. Thank 
you. Yeah, unfortunately there's a number of units missing, 
that should be featured in this incredible issue, but, things 
happen, and hopefully we'll feature them in next week's equally 
compelling issue of writing and art from inside juvenile hall 
and beyond. Apologies to you writers who can not find your 
work in this issue. 

About a lAfeek ago this editor received a "^er-^ encouraging 
phone call from our old friend and BWO teacher, Mikhail 
Markhasev. it had been a long while since we last heard from 
Mikhail, iwho by the vtst^ is serving a life sentence mrithout 
parole in Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran CA. For you fairly 
neiAf tesiAets of The Beat Within, Mikhail, once upon a time 
dazzled us lAfith thoughtful from the heart commentaries and 
poetry that moved many of our resk^ers, young and old. The 
best part of this most recent phone conversation was Mikhail's 
pledge to contribute sks often sks possible to the pages of The 
Beat Within and we can't express it enough how fortunate we 
all Site in having his wisdom back in our pages. 

What follows is his introductory piece and two poems we 
received, after the phone conversation. So allow us to include 
this in the folloiAfing editorial note, since Mikhail ALWAYS reads 
the editorial note when he gets a Beat. Welcome back Mikhail! 
See you in the BWO section after today! 

Behind the peachy stories 

Of missions, fun, and money spent. 

Of real or imaginary glories 

My life yiras given me to rent. 

So now the bill is dues 

While to the wind I scattered 

JKnd lived without a clue 

With hopes forever shattered, 

I'm left to stand with empty hands 

My past beneath the shifting sands 

This present shame I cannot hide 

Because I gloried in my pride. <ital> 

Here's another poem... 

What to say to the youth? 
How to speak to the heart? 
Simply tell them the truth 
JKnd our past is a start. 

And another... 

Experience is half the story: 

JK fool's a fool in any category 

When in my soul I dare look 

I knoyif I'm given more than yirhat I took. 

It's been over two years since I've written to The Beat. It's 
good to be back, and even better to crack open the latest issue 
(13.07} and recognize two familiar contributors: Nick Floyd 
and RJ Castillo. They remind me that this small beginnings, 
grassroots, not-profit mag is a wide, unwalled forum for those 
who are scattered all across America, separated by barbed wire 
and further divided by every class, cultural, and ethnic line 
imaginable. The Beat Without (The Beat Within as a whole} is a 
GRANTED, not a given, mini-community for those buried in our 
community's trash heap. JKnd, sadly but honestly, more often 
than not, we buried ourselves... 

When I initially stumbled on The Beat in 2002, it yiras a 
post-9/11, pre-lraq War rhetorical cauldron, with every idea, 
ideology, and idiocy bubbling on its' pages. 

On a personal level. The Beat became an outlet to undo 
some of my own idiocy. Granted, there is nothing cheesier than 
for a prisoner - especially a lifer - to be suddenly transformed 
into a knoyir-it-all guru or an expert on life. 

Personally, it was my failure at life that brought me to 

prison in my late teens, a failure big-enough to keep me 
here for the rest of my earthly journey. So let me start 
there - as a fool yvho knovirs he is a fool, but who in his youth 
willingly and deliberately ignored the signs that pointed out 
my foolishness. 

Novif in my late tyventies, I'm holding up that sign for 
others - particularly for the readers of The Beat - who have yet 
to succeed at the level of my folly. WARNING! DITCH AHEAD! 
Take it from the idiot who fell into it, but who didn't have to. 
Yes, I'm still muddy, and the stench is unmistakable - that's the 
price I have to pay. But I hope to be honest about it. Honest, 
for the sake of those who are already in the same slimy pit as 
me, for the sake of those who are headed there, and for the 
sake of those who are still clean. It's better to learn from the 
mistakes of others than from your own. Be smarter than me, 
and use your GOD-given freedom to stay away from the path 
that will lead you here, where the only right you have is 'The 
right to remain silent. " 

Mikhail speaks from the heart and it touches us tremendously 
that we can still remain apart of his life and be that unwalled 
forum for him and YOU readers to share lAfith the many who 
choose to pick up our weekly publication. 

This weeks topics featured in this issue obviously not only 
were discussed in our weekly workshops, as at tour topics 
are week in and week out, but the following topics as were 
presented in our workshops generated plenty of powerful 

Our first topic, "Accidents" — We all have had accidents in 
our lives. TVipping over and falling doiAfn on the ground is art 
accident. Stepping on another person's shoes without knowing 
is an accident. Do you remember a time you had an accident? 
Maybe it was a car accident? Or have you seen someone getting 
into an accident? What do you call an accident? Was getting 
locked up an accident? Or hurting someone's feelings an 
accident? This week we want to know about anything related 
to accidents — from small accidents to big accidents. 

The second topic, "What Outrages You?" - What's going on 
in the world or in your personal life that makes you really, 
deeply anqry? How does this outrage hurt you? is it because 
you believe that something is basically unfair or cruel? Abuse? 
War? Prejudice? is there anything about it that you, or anyone 
you can think of, can do to make it better? if so what? Or is 
this outrage so strong/intense that you think it's hopeless or 
permanent? Does it ever threaten you, personally? Describe for 
The Beat anything that totally causes you to feel outraged. 

Lastly, "What Gives You Hope?" - When life seems bleak, 
desolate, or you personally are sad, depressed, in a funk, where 
or who do you go to when you want to feel there is still some 
hope in the world? Some people pray, others go to their mom or 
dad, some go to their best friend, or to those they trust. Others 
listen to their favorite music, watch T^ others walk around 
outside, go to the beach, woods, the movies, hang with their 
friends. Sometimes it can seem like nothing can help. So where 
do you go, who do you go to, when you need your feelings of 
hope restored? Tell us, what gives you hope. 

iCnowing the topics you now have a better idea of what 
kind of tone this issue will hold. By the way, we are also very 
impressed by all you writers who have stepped up and shared 
your life stories with us readers. Plenty of insight to be had, 
to say the least. 

Until next week, but before we call it an editorial note 
we would like to dedicate this issue to our latest and newest 
fulltime player (employee) in Omar Tiircios, who has stepped 
up huge at The Beat Within and in our office in general. Omar 
is here everyday, arriving early and leaving late, lAfhile helping 
with a huge chunk of the editing, the responding to the many- 
many pieces, the interns and their needs, and when asked, he's 
moving and shaking, making things better for the whole office 
in general. Great stuff OT!! 

By the way, Omar has been associated with The Beat Within 
for over four years. He first found out about The Beat when he 
attended and participated in a Beat writing workshop in San 
Mateo County's Hillcrest Juvenile Hall. Today he is giving back, 
touching lives like no other. This issue is for you! 

See you all next week!! 

mam ffff/rr/frs 

censor inappr 

THe BeStt Within, a weekly newsletter of writing ar 
incarcerated youth, is published by Pacific News Service. 

At The Beat Within, we go through a lot of trouble to censor 
sexual remarks, foul language, and gang references. There is eno 
our commuities already-we don't aim to bolster it. It is in The Be 
promote peace and unity. Our goal is to educate one another. 

The Beat Within publishes the opinions and views expressed by tl 
in our workshops. This is simply the pure voice of the youth. T 
read do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, editor or sl 
are reserved. Nothing from this publication can be reproduced wit 

-dous to you. Your wc 
te you. Try to illumir 
k of providing ammui 

To our writers: What you write could be h 
consequences, and could be used to incrim 
feelings and viewpoints without running the 

Co-founders: Sandy Clos 

Senior Editors: Dc 

Assistant Editors: Michael Kroll, Omar 

Graphics/Layout Editor: Manen Pa 

Staff: Pauline Craig, Jill Wolfs( 
Amanda Abies, Dennis Morton, 
Perry Jones, Brenda D. Navarro 
son, Elizabeth Crawford, Morg 
Levin, Griffin Jones, Eric Lee, 
Nic Reiner, Angelica Zabanal, 
S prick, Akima Edwards, Alfred 
gel Ryono, Carolyn Goosen, / 
Hieu Bui,and Neela Banerjee. 

es Labanowski, Kolby Hanson, Chelsea 
idan, Karla Serrano, Victor Peterson, An- 
Blackman, Johnny Le, Allan Martinez, 

The Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona, Juvenile Probation Department 
Beat Staff: Joe Szulecewski, M.A., Lisa Donsker, M.C., Hillary Shluker, M.C., 
Lisa Karczewski, M.A. The detention staff are: Tammie Utter, Shannon Lech- 
ner, D. Scott Herrmann, Ph.D. Clinical Director. 

Bernalillio County, New Mexico "The Land of Enchantment" Juvenile 
Probation Department Beat Staff: Steve Serna 

Spiritual Advisor: Jac 
Special Volunteer: Ni 

Book Donor: Marisela Norte 

Beat Supporters: The Beat Within gr 
port of funders of Pacific News Ser 
- California Arts Council, California 

;on Valley 
tion, Crea 

^vledges the generous sup- 
Dmmunications Programs 
dation, Christensen Fund, 
y Technology Foundation 
und. Cricket Island Foun- 

dation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, For 
dation. Marguerite Casey Foundation, Marin 
Stulsaft Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foun( 
and Youth, Open Society Institute, Peninsul 
anthropic Ventures Foundation, S. H. Cowel 
Commission, San Francisco Foundation, Shi 
and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, Stone Circle 
Surdna Foundation, The California Endowmc 
Sels/Rembe Rock Foundation, Vanguard Pul 
der Gerbode Foundation, Walter S. Johnson F 
Collaborative, the Zellerbach Family Fund ar 

, Marin Community F( 
s Foundation, Oakland 

ion, San Francisco Arts 
foundation, W. Clement 

California Endowment, Tides Foundation, Van Loben 
ation. Vanguard Public Foundation, Wallace Alexan- 
Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Youth Justice Funding 

Writers: Thanks to all the participants in our workshops in the San Francis- 
co, Maricopa County Arizona, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Bernalillio 
County New Mexico, Santa Cruz and Marin County Juvenile Halls. If you have 
any questions or comments about The Beat Within, or if you would like to 
become a subscriber, contact us at: 275 Ninth St. SFCA. 94103 or call (415) 
503-4170 or check us out at: 

///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. // 


P/ms fff iJ^s H^ff^ 

fffi-P/sm fff /fis H^ssHf // 


SM/fMe/sM // 

/////^// // 

/////^// // 

i^/// 4/ 





Be Evil And You Won't Fear Evil 

Fear is what I saw for the very first time. 

Looking evil in its eyes 

watching my homie die. 

He called for me but where was I? 

Stuck on the streets 

too busy gettin high. 

Makin' money, 

I had to get by. 

Scared to look at him, 

I knew he was dead. 

I've never felt fear 

Like putting my best homie to rest. 

That's when I learned how to 

make scared get out of my head. 

Be evil and you won't fear evil, I said. 

Those are the words 

that never let me fear. 

Those are the words 

that stop the first tear. 

Those are the words 

that take away the sad. 

Now without my homie 

the hurt wont feel so bad. 


Turtle, aka Scott 

November 27, 2007 

-Kelsey, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: This is a very moving poem about a very painful event - 
losing a friend, especially in such a terrible way. But it's also about you. 
We want you to realize that it's normal to feel the way you do. But try to 
let yourself go through the pain. Mourn your friend. Cry, and keep crying 
as long as you need to. It's hard, but you'll get through it by opening up, 
not closing down. Talk about it, write about it. Then talk some more. 
And cry whenever you feel like it. We are sorry for your loss, and sorry 
for the pain your friend's family is surely going through. We know there 
is counseling available at the hall. Please take advantage of it. Talking 
and crying is your best therapy in a time like this. 

Just A Thought 

Just some thought running through my mind... 

Is there something deep I'm trying to find? 

I feel an empty hole within my soul. 

It's trying to get away, but I won't let go. 

It bothers me day and night 
'Cause I can't quite make it into sight. 

It's a blur in the back of my head 
Tossing and turning every night in bed. 

Is it a feeling or is it a person? 

Always seems to be a different version. 

Thoughts that spin round and round, 

I pray to god I don't fall down. 

Day by day it becomes more clear, 

Listening, trying to hear. 

Always looking up at the dates. 

Praying and hoping it ain't too late. 

But then again... it's just a thought. 

-Lefty, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We love your poetry. Lefty. We think what you're 
listening for, what you're trying to hear, is god^ reply to your prayers, 
which may be as simple (and as deep) as this: "If you fall down, get 
back up! Eliminate that phrase "too late" from your vocabulary! It is 
NEVER too late!" This is much more than "just a thought." What^ going 
"round and round" in your head is you talking to you, telling yourself 
what you may not want to hear, but which you're much too intelligent 
to ignore. You may feel a hole in your soul, but this poem (and your 
other writing) prove that your soul is far from empty. It is kicking you 
into a higher and deeper level of thought, the beginning of a life-long 
journey of exploration and — we hope and believe — accomplishment. 
Keep thinking; keep writing; keep teaching! 

What Hand 

What type of hand 

can turn the key 

to open a shell 

of sorrow? 

Or does it take a kiss 

to open the abyss 

and turn the pain 

from yesterday 

into happiness tomorrow? 

Always more - 

greed is a whore. 

More lies. 

More money. 

More anger, hate, and pain. 

More corruption. 

Who's to blame? 

The greatest nation on earth - 

an imposter since it's birth. 

-Jackson, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: A nation is a large group of people. People who lead and 
people who follow. We understand your indignation. When questionable 
things are done in the name of "the people", and the people do not 
agree, it is the obligation of those who disagree to stand up and show 
us all a better way. We think you're in the process of rising from your 
seat. It takes a lot of preparation to lead effectively. You'll need a moral 
vision to replace the bankrupt policies you oppose. And you'll need to 
find the right words, if you want to help lead. Is this a challenge you're 
ready to accept? We hope you're doing a lot of reading. Wisdom is built 
on knowledge and experience. You get the knowledge from reading and 
careful observation and hard work. You get the wisdom from living a 
good life. Prepare yourself to lead, Jackson, if that's what you want to 
do. Start today, where you are. 

What Outrages Me 

What it is. Beat? Me, Ant, same shhh. tryna get out 

What outrages me is how ninjas stay howlin' like "I'm 
a killa," or "I bust guns," but ain't about nothing on the 

What outrages me is how you a suspect just because 
you black or Latino. 

What outrages me is how the "white man" just turns 
you down because where you come from, or yo' previous 

What outrages me is how we make stupid-ass 
decisions and then, when you locked up, you realize yo' 
only friends is god and your mother. 

What outrages me is how life is supposed to be for you 
to succeed, but living in these damn projects we don't do 
shhh but fail... 

What outrages me is how people tell you that you 
ain't gone never be shhh, and seven times out of ten it 
comes true. 

What outrages me is how some people wasn't made 
out of love, but was a mistake because their mother was 
a prostitute and didn't have enough damn money to get 
an abortion. 

What outrages me is this whole damn world. Being in 
here outrages me. 

-Lil' Ant, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Far from outraging us, you amaze us! There is so much 
righteous rage here, so much passion and truth! What outrageous us is 
that in this, the richest and most powerful country the world has ever 
known, conditions that breed hopelessness and failure generation after 
generation are tolerated, while we can spend billions on foreign wars! 
We need your mind (and anger) to help individuals as well as the whole 
nation move from what you've described so well to something closer to 
what the Preamble to our Constitution promises, but fails to deliver. (If 
you haven't read it, you should.) If the prediction that "you ain't gone 
never be shhh" is true seven out of ten times, our prayer is that you are 
one of the three that turns that prediction on its head! 


jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,// 


A Younoin With A Dream Like Kino's 

I have a dream that one day this nation will understand 
themselves as people. Someday, people will realize that 
they can be solid in spirit instead of being hard as a stone 
all the time. Problems that occur will have a complex 
cause, none like the nonsense that we have seen in our 
societies today. I am well aware that it can be complicated 
for some of us to figure out who we are; however, we have 
to continue to push, push harder and understand that we 
are worth it. Let us raise out standards. 

I have a dream that one day young men and women 
will understand the meaning of love. Love for our families, 
significant others, and our communities. The word love 
is not something we think of, it is something we feel. 
Young parents need to learn to stick together in order to 
raise the beautiful creation our lord Jesus has allowed 
them to produce. We have no more men to raise men; 
consequently, our young men are not able to become 

I have a dream that one day our people will accept and 
appreciate change. Realizing that change can only help 
us as a whole in the long run will guarantee development 
within ourselves. All humans were created to evolve. If 
you don't evolve, you only slowly disappear. Today our 
youth are afraid of change, because they think it will make 
them look soft; therefore, we should not look forward to 
reproduction unless we learn to grow. If our youth will 
not cherish growth and self-development, the two options 
of jail and death will overrule "I have a dream today." 

I have a dream that one day our young men will 
learn to be more about family and self. Homies are not 
all what they seem to be. The only security we have is 
family. Family love is unconditional; homies only love to 
a certain degree. Therefore, they will only support the 
things they agree with. Gangs only support ignorance and 
downward motion. Family will support any decision you 
make and encourage you 100%. There's no limit to the 
love of blood. 

I have a dream that one day our society will take pride 
in our environments, and understand that it is not as 
poisoned as the media displays it to be. It is very evident 
that we are surrounded by a vicious creed of youngsters; 
moreover, there is indeed whole-hearted human beings 
walking the same streets as the beast. The activity 
going on in our neighborhoods are not to be criticized 
but understood. We have children who fall victim to the 
circumstances that are brought upon them; however, 
there are children who are products of their environment 
raised in the same lifestyles they are living today. We can 
make it if we choose to. For our youth there's still time to 

I have a dream that one day we will learn to keep it 
real with ourselves before anybody else. People are no 
longer strong enough to be themselves. Too many want to 
impress others. If people cannot learn to be all about self 
and family, then they will never learn to value their own 
life. If people do not learn to cherish self-development, 
they will never understand who they are... 

-P. Crooks, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We could hardly believe our eyes when we read this 
little masterpiece of deep thought and power. Just sk% we often felt after 
hearing Martin Luther King speak or read something he wrote, we want 
to jump up and yell, "Amen!" We hope that whatever brought you here 
will be resolved soon, because this country, this state, this city and our 
communities are desperate for the kind of leadership you could provide. 
But wherever you are, never stop growing and never stop teaching! 

I Just Want My Emotions To lio Away 

Is this life worth living? Some say yes and some say no. 
Well, I've been thinking about this question hella much 
lately. Sometimes I wish it was just all done and over 
with, but at other times I know I could never leave my 
baby girl, my best friend, and my boyfriend. Right now 
those are the three most important people in my life and 
I'd do anything for them, but it hurts so much that I can't 
see them. 

I just want all my emotions to go away. I 1 just don't 
want to feel any more. Feeling is the only thing that lets 
me know I still exist in this world, so I'm just wondering, 
"Is all this hurt worth it? Is this life worth living?" 

-Blue-Eyed Angel, Marin 

From The Beat: Even though you can't see these three people now that 
you're locked up, does getting some "time out" from all the feelings the 
drama of the outs can cause help you chill for a while? While you're 
in juvy, can you slowly create a plan for your life that will eliminate 
whatever brought you into juvy and help you get a fresh start? What do 
you need to do or stop doing to make your life serene, positive, creative, 
productive and fun? 

Wonders Of Life 

Pouring rain, clouds filled with sorrow 

Mothers crying for their kids to come home 

And where am I? 

Standing under a tree drinking and getting wasted 

Watching people come and go as rains soak into my toes 

Watching my people leave 'til I am all alone 

Lonely and cold... and why can't I go home? 

I don't know. 

Nothing physical, nothing emotional 

Just the thought of being away from it all 

I'm drunk, suddenly I start to fall 

I hit a wall and that's it 

Next thing I know I'm at home 

Throwing up, trying to spit 

But how did I get home? 

It's in the mystery folder 

I'm sure it was my guardian angel 

Looking over my shoulder 

-Lefty, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We hope you read this poem many times so you truly 
absorb its profound message. What you call your "guardian angel" (some 
would call luck) can't be relied on to %xyie you the next time. No one is 
promised any more chances in life than those already given. Watching 
your people go until you are all alone, lonely and cold... Think hard 
about that image. Lefty. Don't allow yourself to disappear, to become 
nothing more than a memory. You have too much to gain — and too 
much to give! 

When Will We Realize? 

Most people don't understand the opportunities that they 
are given when they are on the outs. All these programs 
and jobs are laid out in front of us, asking us to accept 
one and put a little time into it so we could succeed and 
get our lives straightened out for the future. 

And yet we all still end up here, refusing to grab a 
hold of what we will want when we age. I don't know how 
many times it takes for some of us to realize that we need 
to accept a new path when we get out, before we end up 
back here or with a tag on our toe. 

-Bakgwai, San Francisco 

From The Beat: This is so right on that we wonder how long it's taken 
you to realize the need to take some of the help that^ out there that 
will move you to a new path — and, therefore, to a new destination? 
We'd love to learn what you think is responsible for your insight and 
maturity? Is it the experience of being locked up? Something or things 
that you've read or heard? Just growing older? Whatever it is, we're 
just glad that your eyes are open. Never close them again! (We're also 
curious sk% to how you arrived at your Beat name.) 



When rm down and out thinking Fm all alone and no 
one has got my back, I think about family. My mom, who I 
only have known for about three years, now stays having 
my back. It's like whatever I'm going through, all I want is 
to hear her voice and I feel all right. 

My older brother is one of the best things that ever 
happen. He's the one I look up to. Even though I don't 
always listen to him, I take his opinion to heart. 

Then I got his baby moms who's always on my back to 
do better. She's always tellin' me to stop messin' up, stop 
messin' with the wrong people. 

Then there's my niece who's gonna be three this year. 
I want to be there for her and be a good uncle. I need to 
change what I'm doin'. I cant be a role model locked up. 

My family gives me hope. They're my fuel for change. 

-Kevin, San Francisco 

From The Beat: This is SO good, Kevin. With so many people at your bade 
pushing you forward, you would be a fool not to seize this opportunity 
to make the changes you know you have to make in order to be the 
uncle your niece needs in her life, to be the sibling your brother and his 
girlfriend keep encouraging you to be, and to be the son your mother 
wants you to be. It's very obvious you have what it takes to do what you 
need to. But only you can do it! 

Readino The Beat 

When I'm locked up in Juvenile Hall, the day I sleep the 
best is Thursday, because the Beat Within comes, and 
when I read it in my room it puts me to sleep, because for 
me it's the opposite, when I read stuff that I like I get tired 
easily. The Beat is very interesting to me. When I wake 
up on Thursday all I think about is when is it going to be 
8:00pm. It just makes me happy that people take there 
time to come out and let us write about how we feel and 
publish it so others can see. I love the Beat, I'm out. 

- Beat Savage, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We love all you too! We love doing the work we do. We 
do it for all you that are locked up. You are always free to express what 
ever your feeling in The Beat Within. 

My Hood 

In my hood a lot of bad things be happening. People be 
getting killed and there be a lot of fights. I found out that 
there are no friends in this world. 

The only good friend in this world is God. That is the 
only one you could trust. Being in jail is not a good 

place to be. A good place to be is with your family. Doing 
crime is not the right thing to do. The right thing to do is 
to be at home with your family. Being in the streets is not 
the right thing to do 'cause you could get hurt or killed in 
the streets of Oakland. 

In the streets of Oakland there's a lot of killing. These 
streets are no joke. I have learned my lesson to be in jail. 
It is not a good place to be. I don't ever want to come 
back to jail. There was one time I was scared to walk 
down the street 'cause I thought I was about to get shot 
at for nothing. There are too many gangs in the streets 
of Oakland. They be coming up to you for nothing asking 
you what you bang. 

When I get out of jail I want to make a change in my 

-Jose, Alameda 

From The Beat: The streets are ugly. You're right though if you wanna 
avoid getting in trouble or seriously injured then you have to stay 
inside your house and change things up big time. You have to avoid 
trouble. Chill with your family because they truly care for you. Go to 
school and get a part time job at The Beat. Leave the chillin' in the 
hood too. Dedication and determination is all it takes to change your 
life. You can do it. 


What outrages me is this so-called justice system. 
Everything they do to so-called help just makes shhh 
worse. None of these out of home placements help. 
How can you teach someone to live positively in their 
neighborhood by removing us from our neighborhood? 
They should be integrating us back into our neighborhood. 
But all they do is remove us from our homes and families 
for a time, then we get back and they hope something is 
gonna be different. Ain't nothin' changed. We're still the 
same people in the same places, the same faces, and the 
same situations. And then they sit there and scratch their 
heads and wonder why we come back. Nothing drastic is 
going to change just because we're gone for an amount 
of time. 

Despite all of these failures, the judges, POs, and all 
them continue to send us to these places with a smile on 
their faces, saying that it's gonna change us. But when we 
go out and mess up, they want to blame us for everything. 
They shrug us off and don't acknowledge that they also 
play a part in it. 

A lot of these placements ruin our lives and ruin the 
few good and helpful relationships that we did have. It 
puts a strain on our families and separates us from them. 
They don't realize that we might act like adults, but a lot 
of people are still just kids, and instead of dealing with 
us accordingly, they treat us like we grown. The time they 
deal out does break some, but, yet, they continue to hand 
out these eighteen-month sentences for misdemeanors 
and send us hundreds of miles from home. 

This is my fifteenth month in custody (November 
2006-February 2008) for a crime I was given an eight- 
month m£ix sentence for. Now that's outrageous. 

-Birdman, San Francisco 

From The Beat: The theory the authorities are probably working on when 
they send any of you youth away from home for months is that you'll 
get a chance to live in the rest of the world, so you can realize there^ 
a whole 'nother world beyond your neighborhood, and/or to get you 
away from your homies, anyone who has a negative influence on you, 
who persuades you to mess up, so you can learn to rely on your own 
judgment. But you're right, tearing you away from your home, school, 
neighborhood can cause you to feel that you've lost almost all control 
over your own life, that now you have to learn to manage to live with 
strangers, and that can be totally frightening. Cutting you away from 
your family and the friends, maybe the only ones you've ever known, 
can be way counterproductive, because now you can feel that for the 
present, you have no one. So take a good look at yourself and ask 
yourself if you have made good choices before you came to the hall, at 
the hall, at the ranch? What must you do to succeed? Are you willing? 

Imperialism Outrages Me 

Imperialist capitalists countries makes me outraged. 
Where are we going in life, what are we trying to achieve? 
It seems that humanity is just trying to gain power, money 
and high positions in their countries. 

Doesn't everyone chase after happiness? It seems 
as if we are tricked into believing that happiness and joy 
comes from material things, or power, pride, sex, etc. But 
true happiness and joy comes from within — a happiness 
that can never be stolen. 

So what is it with our country acting like locusts and 
turning this earth into a wasteland? This outrages me. 

-Viet Tiger, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Wow, VT! You have every reason and right to be outraged 
by the greed of governments, the greed of the military, the greed of 
individuals that make a mockery of religion by seeking personal wealth 
and power. You are so right, we are turning the earth into a wasteland. 
It's as if we care nothing for what we leave our children, as long as 
we get ours! Perhaps we are "tricked" into believing that this is where 
happiness comes from, but when we look around, we see how much 
people seem to want to be tricked. Very few people we know have the 
strength of mind that lets them analyze what they're taught as critically 
as you have done. Yes, it is outrageous! 


The Start Of A New Life 

Here I am in a place that I said I would never be, a place 
that I promise to everyone that I would never go. Yes I'm 
in the hall. Juvenile hall where bad is bad and good is bad. 
Most people would tell you the hall is the worst place you 
can be, but I must say that's a lie because in the hall is like 
being in school. You have someone telling you what to do 
and when to do it, but that's enough said. Let me tell you 
what happen. 

Well were do I start, here I am at school the last period 
of the day. When the bell rang, I waited for my teacher to 
come collect my work. As I made my way to the door, I saw 
a familiar face. It was Charles, he's one of the best people 
that you could ever meet, at least that's what I thought. So 
I went up to Charles and slapped him high five. As we made 
our way to the front of the school, we met up with Marquis 
and Ramon, two friends of ours. Charles was telling us 
about this thing he wanted to do. He wanted to hit a lick. 

You know how Marquis is, he says he will do it, but he 
always has to be home before his dad, and his dad gets off 
work at 4:30pm. We get out of school at 3:10 so he wasn't 
going. We all looked around waiting on the bus and then 
I just said, "let get some chicks and go to the movies or 
something." Me being the oldest of the group, they said 
ok. So here we are on the bus and we were on our way to 
Bayfair (Mall). 

The moment we got off the bus we saw my potna Kev. 
So we all were on the way to see "The Eye" at the movies. 
So we got in line and you will never believe it, but the movie 
was sold out. So I was about to go home, then one of the 
guys said "Let's go to Southland Mall so I can get some 
shoes." So I thought I do need some new shoes, so we got 
back on the bus. We were on our way to Southland. 

We were getting off the bus. We were on our way into 
the mall. We roamed the mall for a short while. 

As we made our way out of the mall, Kev's grandma 
called him and said she was outside, so Kev asked if I 
needed a ride. 

"Naw" I said. 

Then Kev's grandma sped away, so we were down to the 
three of us. 

Me, Charles and Ramon went to Union City to the 
movies. Man, it was so many people in the theatre that I 
started to change my mind and turn around and go home. 
Just as I started to the door I musta seen this bad lil' mama. 
Man, she had this nice pink skirt and a white tank top and 
those new Air Force Jordans, the pink and white ones. 

So I turned around and asked her if her boyfriend was 
around. She said "no". So I asked her what movie she was 
about to see, she said, "oh I was going to see the 'First 
Sunday', but if you wanna see something else I'm fine with 

So I look around for Charles and Ramon but they were 
already in the movie. So I said, "You tryna see The Eye'?" 

She said it didn't matter, so we made our way into the 
movie. The first person I seen was Ramon, he's not that 
hard to miss he is 6'4", 3251b, so you wouldn't miss if you 
tried. Me and the girl walked pass Charles and Ramon, and 
sat at the end of the row. 

As soon as the movie was over, we left. 

Me and the girl went to In-and-Out burgers, Charles and 
Ramon went to the bus stop. I looked and asked the girl if 
she was hungry. She said a little, and I said. 

"What you want?" 

She said, "You didn't have to buy me anything. I don't 
even know your name." 

I looked shocked, because I didn't tell the girl my name 
and I paid her way into the movies and was now about to 
buy her some food. Then I noticed I didn't know her name 
either. We both laughed and sat at the table. I said, "Well let 
me start, my name is Tommy, but you can call me T." 

She said, "Ok T, my name is Kandice but you can call 
me "Candy." 
She laughed as she said it. So we sat there and ate. 

Then her mom called and said it was time for her to 
come home. Then the weirdest thing happened, she bent 
over the table and gave me a kiss on the cheek. 

As we made our way out, I didn't seem to notice Charles 
or Ramon at the bus stop they were gone. So I went to the 
bus stop and look around. 

Across the street was Charles and Ramon. They were 
talking to some kids. So I went over and they were running 
my way. 

I looked up and spotted the bus, so we ran towards the 
bus, Charles handed me this phone, so I took the phone 
and he said he just took it from this boy, so I said," I don't 
want this shhh if you just took if from that boy." 

I looked up at the phone it was a Cingular. Then I said, 
"wait, you can get the card turned back on for cheap." So 
I took the card out of the phone and gave the phone to 
Charles. I don't know what he did with the phone. 

Then I looked up and the bus was right there. 

We went over and the bus driver said, "I'm not leaving 
for another 10 minutes." 

I said ok and ran into the gas station. I saw the police 
and someone pointing my way. I paid no attention and kept 
walking towards the bus. The driver opened the door and 
Charles and Ramon got on first. When I started to get on 
the bus the police grabbed me and said, "Excuse me can we 
talk to you?" 

I said, "All right." 

They put me in handcuffs and said "Can you sit here 
for a minute?" 

Then he read me my rights and grabbed Charles and 
Ramon off the bus, I knew I was going to jail because the 
officer kept pointing at me. They took me to Union City 
Police Station. Then they call for my mom, she wasn't at 
home. So they brought me to the hall. I stayed for about a 
week, then the judge said, "Now Mr. R... you understand 
that you committed a felony crime, right?" 

I said, "Yes." 

Then he said, "Mr. R. . . you understand that you will be 
held accountable for all the charges and penalization," I 
said yes then he continued, "you can be fined up to $10,000 
and the m£ix time for your crime is 3 years." 

I said, "ok." 

And now here I am in a place that I said I would never 
be; A place that I promised to everyone that I would never 
go. Yes I'm in the hall. In the hall I pray, eat, sleep and 
shhh. I made a promise to myself, when I get out I will start 
a new life. 

-Sticks, Alameda 

From The Beat: We wish you luck on your case. Given what you wrote 
hear, we hope you get your chance to tell your story, it might lighten 
the penalty. We hope that you do start a new life and you don't have to 
ever experience any of these facilities again. Also, don't put yourself in 
a position where it might jeopardize your freedom once you are out and 
about. Solid insightful writing. You take us readers along for the journey 
that sadly brings you here, the hall. 

.../fow" here lam in a place that I said I would never he; A place that I prom- 
ised to everifOMe that I would never go. 


La Historia Del Camino 

Yo les voy a contar lo que pase cuando me vine de 
Honduras. Pase tantas cosas tristes que cuando me 
acuerdo de ellas, me dan ganas de llorar. 

Yo me vine con mi prima. Cuando veniamos por 
Mexico en Tierras Blancas, nos salio unos pandilleros 
y nos dijeron que les dieramos el dinero. Entonces nos 
hicieron poner las manos arriba y mi prima les dice, "no 
traigo nada, solo mi ropa interior." Y uno de ellos dice, 
"damela!" Mi prima se la da y ellos se la tiran al suelo y 
tambien la tumban a ella al suelo. 

Mi prima les dice que no le hagan nada y que les iba 
a dar la cartera. Ellos dicen que no querian la cartera 
y que la querian a ella. Ella les dice que porfavor no le 
hagan nada. Un amigo mio les dice, "no le hagas nada 
loco, yo tengo 100 Pesos." Ellos los toman y le dicen a mi 
amigo, "me dijistes que no andaba?" Mi amigo les dice, 
"es que lo ocupo para comer." Ellos dicen, " a mi no me 
importas que no tengas para comer y a esta morra me la 
voy a Uebar." Yo dije, "hey pana, porfavor dejela ir porque 
ella es mi prima." El dice, " a mi me vale madre que sea tu 
prima culero, es mas dame tu feria o sino me la llebo." 

Eran unos cuantos pandilleros y nosotros eramos unos cuantos tambien. 
Les dije a los otros que no permitieramos que se la llebara quedito. 
Entonces un amigo saco una nabaja y se la tiro a uno. Nosotros nos 
tiramos a los otros y a un pandillero fue punaliado por un amigo mio. 
Entonces un pandillero saco una pistola y le dispararon hasta matar a 
un amigo de nosotros. Cuando miramos que mataron a un amigo, nos 
corrimos. Gracia a Dios nos fuimos. 

The Story Of The Trip 

I'm going to share the story of what I went through when 
I came here from Honduras. I went through a lot of sad 
things that when I think about them, I feel like crying. 

I came here with my female cousin. When I was in 
Mexico, in Tierras Blancas, a few gangsters appeared out 
of nowhere asking for our money. They asked up to put 
our hands up, and my cousin said to them, "I don't have 
anything, only my intimate clothes." And one of them 
replied, "give it to me." My cousin proceeded and gave it 
to them. They threw it on the ground and pushed her to 

My cousin kept asking to leave us alone and that she 
was going to give them her wallet. They said that they 
didn't want the wallet, but her. A friend of mine who was 
with us said, "hey don't do nothing, I got 100 Pesos." 
They took it and replied back to my friend, "didn't you tell 
us tJiat you didn't have money?" My friend answered, "I 
did, but I needed it to eat." They replied, "we don't care if 
you eat or not, I'm going to take her with us." I said, "hey 
pana, leave her alone, she's my cousin." And he said, "I 
don't care if she's your cousin you punk, you know what, 
give me your money as well." 

They were a few gangsters and we were the same 
amount of people. Quietly, I told the rest that we shouldn't 
permit them from taking her. One of us pulled out knife 
and threw it at one of them. We started fighting with the 
others and one of them got stabbed by one of my friends. 
Another of them pulled out a gun and shot until killing 
one of us. When we looked back, a friend of ours was 
killed. Thank got we got away. 

-Tavo, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It takes a lot of courage to do that. In reality, anybody 
would do the same thing you did for a family member. Although one of 
your friends died for that cause, it was the best thing to do. You never 
know what could have happened if you hadn't done anything. This must 
have been a hard moment and very desperate. This should teach you 
that big effort shouldn't been thrown away for stupid things that aren't 
worth it. If they give you a chance to stay here, keep in mind how hard 
it was for you to get here and all the things you suffered throughout 
your journey so you can appreciate life better. Thanks for your story 
even though it is sad it^ also interesting. From interesting things, you 
also learn something that can help us in life. 


What outrages me and makes me truly and deeply angry 
is when I'm at home minding my own business and my 
sisters -one older and one younger - make fun of me for 
being different. I would tell my mom, thinking she would 
help handle the situation. What she does instead is send 
me to my room (so she can handle the situation). When it 
happens the next day I stand up for myself and I get into 
trouble. This hurts me because I say things louder and 
more aggressive than they do so I face the consequences. 
I always feel that I get treated unfairly. 

Right now I'm in juvenile hall 'cause my mom lied. 
I'm on house supervision and she and I and my younger 
sister were yelling and she called the house supervision 
and said I tried to kill the family. So again she lied and 
strikes yet another time. 

When I lived with my dad 50-50, he would abuse us 
non-stop, and I got the worst of it. I would always protect 
my sisters when he was mad. I feel like me and my sisters 
are having secret war to get attention from mom or dad. 

I've been in therapy since I was three years old. I've 
had over 20 different therapists. Only one had helped for 
13 years of life but she left 'cause she got a better job offer 
from another group home. I feel my outrage is slipping 
out of my reach slowly eating at my chance of life. I'm 
doing all I can think of — therapists, counseling, group 
homes, juvie, anger pills, hospitalizations, and talks with 
friend and family, but so far nothing. 

-Windi, Alameda 

From The Beat: We are so sorry for all the pain your parents have caused 
you. We see that you are trying to make things better for yourself, 
and we hope you don't give up. In terms of how this has affected 
your relationships with your sisters, what do you think would help you 
become closer to them? 

All I can do Is crif 
and go to sleeps 

Dear God 

Dear God I hope you can hear me. 

The devil try to find me, protect me where ever I be. 

I can't fight back, 

I'm weak can't you see? 

I wish you'd give me wings, so I can fiy away. 

I'm tired of the BS 

Screw what everybody got to say. 

All I want to do is pray every day that I can hug and hold 

my mother's hand 

Or walk and talk with my girl on the beautiful sand. 

Or communicate with my family whenever I can. 

I'm 17 gGod please let me see twenty-one 

Don't have my family cry and friends put me on a shirt. 

Look at me I'm stuck in this place 

Feel hopeless I talked to every night, you don't hear it? 

In this place feeling like shhh. 

All I can do is cry and go to sleep. 

God please have mercy on me. 

If you decide to lock me up, let my mind be free 

And even though I'm your child, I'm still a G. 

I will be some body in life, just wait and see. 

-Tran, Alameda 

From The Beat: You are somebody in life already, and anyone who 
doesn't believe it would just have to read this poem to understand what 
you have gone through, and how much love you still have in your heart. 
What can you do to keep that love and strength alive, no matter what 
the system decides? 



I hope that I can change my negative ways. 

Just like I hope Gods listening to my thoughts every 

night that I pray. 

I hope this pain ain't forever to stay. 

Every time I pray I hope God sends me answer. 

I hope my mom stands solid on the battle with her fight 

against cancer. 

Now locked up once again hopin' the judge send me 

back to camp. 

The truth is my heart is missin' somethin' like a letter 

without a stamp. 

I guess I took my freedom for granted. 

I was at camp for two weeks and already caught a gang 


But that was my choice to sacrifice. 

I did what I did without thinking twice. I rolled the dice. 

Now I'm back in the hall and it ain't nothing nice. 

But there's still hope in this life. I hope God sends me to 

heaven not hell. 

I'm stressing hopin' all my mom's surgeries go well. 

Yeah it was cool hittin' the hood for a min. 

Showing the homies like what is it. 

But in reality I'm in the unit, hopin' for a visit. 

I hope I change for the better 

I ain't tryin' to live my life on the street pushin' keys. 

I want a wife kids a college degree. 
But don't get it twisted homie I will always have my 

respect n my loyalty. 

My brother got a fight against parole I hope he wins. 

Just got out last weekend after serving five years in the 


I hope God gives my family courage, strength, 

protection, guidance, and health. 

I hope every time I run or do somethin' stupid, someone 

just serves me some help. 

-Lil' Mousie, Alameda 

From The Beat: You deserve help, respect, encouragement, you deserve 
a wife, kids, a college degree. You deserve all the things you hope and 
wish for. But now you must to believe it, believe in yourself, and then 
reach out for the help you need. You icnow all those programs they 
make you take as a condition of probation? Don't just do them because 
you "have" to. Do them with heart and soul, put the effort in, ask for 
guidance. You have many tests ahead of you, but this poem just burns 
with all the fire and, yes, hope, that you hold in your heart. Use it! 

Death Before Dishonor 

One of the rules I live by is death before dishonor. A lot 
of people can relate and the ones that can't are labeled as 

One thing my mom always told me was never open your 
mouth when it can ruin someone else's life. She would 
know, she did a county bullet because someone opened 
their mouth. 

Everyone that's older don't understand. They say that's 
the way to go, but when my mom was snitched on I lost 
contact with her for three years. Even though I was young 
those three years ruined our relationship forever. We were 
never close after she got out. 

My aunties told me she use to treat me like an angel. 
She came back and treated me like shh. Some say tough 
love. I say a young teen kicked out 'cause my momma lost 
love for her son. It might seem complicated but if you walk 
in my shoes you would understand. 

-Codine, Alameda 

From The Beat: We can understand. And that's messed up that you lost 
contact with your mom for three years. You can't make up for lost time, 
but you can make up for what you got left. Obstacles are a part of life, 
and it^ how we endure these struggles that really builds our character. 
You only have one life to live so make the best of it. And if you really 
want to make your relationship work between you and your mom let her 
know how you're feeling. You don't have anything to lose. 

When Will It Stop? 

Tell me when will it stop, all the murder and violence 

Because every thirty minutes it's a moment of silence 

That means everyday it's somebody in tears. 

And every body got a pistol 'cause we livin' in fear. 

The hood is a cold dark place with no smiles. 

Task Force on my line because I fit the profile 

White T-shirt, jeans and Nikes 

Average black young male gold teeth and hyphy 

So we need to man up to end ignorance for others sake. 

Increase the peace and decrease the murder rate. 

-Fantastic, Alameda 

From The Beat: We really feel the power of these words, if every young 
man in Oakland took them to heart, that would simply be the end of the 
violence. Imagine it! On the other hand, we ask you to live these words 
and lead by example. Can you tell us something you've personally done 
to live up to the message of this incredible poem? 

What's Ifl A Name? 

Some of you may wonder why I write under this name 
(Monk). I think some people think I am Buddhist, but 
I don't think of myself that way. Actually I don't know 
enough about Buddhism yet. I try to learn about all 
religions. I seek the truth. 

My name was inspired by a monk named Kshitigharba. 
He was a bodhisattva. A bodhisattva is just someone 
who vows to save everyone from suffering. Anyway, the 
story is that he would help lost souls to stop wandering, 
wherever they happened to be. He had the power to go 
anywhere he wanted, even hell, and help people by ending 
their suffering. Of course, though, Kshitigharba is too 
long of a name, but his story inspires me to counteract 
the depression so palpable in institutions. 

I hope this inspires others to do the same, to help 
dispel the darkness. Let there be MORE light. 

-Monk, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Amen, Monk. Amen! 

Joy Ride 

Another six days. As I walk out of the courtroom, that's 
what I'm telling myself. They say I have a bench warrant 
out of town. As soon as I'm done here I'm being expedited 
to the hall back there. Who knows how long I'll be there? 
Who knows - the next 9-12 months of my life rests in the 
hands of a judge who has apparently had enough of my 
thrill rides. 

I have flashbacks of me and my girl. I would love to 
hold her in my arms, to feel the comfort and love of her. 
I know it's going to be hard trying to convince everybody 
that I'm truly sorry for my actions, and that I take full 
responsibility for what I have done. 

I never thought a night of fun would cause so much 
heartache and tears and drama. It's like Immortal 
Technique said, "If the devil asks you to dance, you 
better say never, 'cause a dance with the devil might last 

-Robby, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: Robby - try imagining this. The car you choose to take a 
'joy ride' in might belong to a mom who has to rush a sick child to the 
emergency room, or it might belong to a guy, like you, trying to get his 
act together. He's searched for months and finally, someone gives him 
work. The deal is - he can never be late. He leaves his house, planning 
to drive to his new job BUT - Where's his car. What we're asking you to 
do is to consider what the consequences are when you jack a car. You're 
taking a risk. As foolish as that is, you get to make that choice. But 
you're depriving other folks of their right to choose, and in some cases, 
the consequences could be very costly to them and to their families. 
That's a choice you do not have a right to make. If you want to be dumb 
enough to hurt yourself - we're sorry. We wish you wouldn't. But hurting 
others - that's a big NO. End of lecture. We do hope you've learned 
something from these sorry experiences. And we wish you well. 

I Didn't Feel Nothin' But Anger 

What's up Beat this your boy Crazy writing you once again. 
I'm gonna write about my whole life story! 

When I was 10 years old I used to watch my older brother 
Marcos smoke cigarettes and steal stuff from stores and 
beat people up, until he got locked up! 

AJfter that I guess my life was fine. I used to go school, 
and I help my mom around the house. My father had his 
other family and his own kids with my step mom and I 
never spent time with him because every time I go to his 
house my step mom would hit us and tell us that our dad 
is not our father. Then she would call our mom foul names, 
so I really didn't need nothing from him. Until when I did 
need shoes he would tell us that he didn't have money and 
that to don't ask him no more! So I really didn't get nothing 
from him, and on my mother side she used to work two 
jobs to keep a roof over our heads, so I wouldn't really ask 
her for anything because I already new she was struggling 
with money and I knew what the answer was. 

I used to go to school with my shoes all ripped up and 
my mom would get our clothes from church! Because she 
didn't have money! 

But I was a happy kid, until I turned 1 1 years old. I used 
to hang around with the kids that got my brother locked 
up! Don't get me wrong they're my ninjas till this day. Their 
names was Vincent and Michael and Criss... we used to go 
Radio Shack and steal hella remote control cars. We used 
to just walk in and see what we like and just pick it up and 
start running out the store. One day I was sitting on my 
steps when my potnas was smoking a black and I asked 
them to let me hit it one time. 

After that I was smoking Newports and hella weed. We 
used to stand on our spot in front of the liquor store and 
wait for the next suspect. 

After I turned 12 years old Criss went to camp and ran, 
and caught the train to Nebraska and I thought he was gone 
forever. And Vincent and Mike moved houses with his dad 
to Tracy and I never seen them again. 

After that my life was perfect again. We went back to 
the good thing - school and all that good stuff. Then I met 
some ninjas name Richard, Martin, Jesus and Angelo. We 
used to go same thing my old friends did, but we wasn't in 
gangs. We used to take stolen cars to school, park them 
and walk in school like if they was our own cars. 

You think we went to school to learn? Well you're 

I used to go to school to see if you would put five on 
some weed or on my gas tank. One day I was driving to 
school and I passed a red light and the cops seen me. I 
high-speeded it and crashed into a house. That was my 
first time in jail. It hurt to see Mom cry on my visits but that 
didn't stop me. I got caught 5 more times for Grand Theft 
Auto. I was 13 years old at this time after that I start doing 
serious stuff like take people money and beat them up and 
again I got locked up and released on home supervision. I 
was staying home and following orders, until one day I had 
a stolen car and I was going home and I seen one of my 
potnas, and he said like this "Blood, I know where a lot of 
stereos we could make a lot of money. " Well I got caught 
again and went to jail. 

At this time I was in a gang but I never did kill someone 
I used to just beat people up. Well when I got caught I went 
to a group home and I did good in it. My mom did ever thing 
to have me go to the right path. Well after that I finish the 
group home and that's when my life fell apart. 

My old friends Criss, Mike and Vincent came back... 
This time we would ride around all the way to Concord or 
Berkeley and steal laptops, steal speakers, steal stereos. 

And one time I broke a car window, hopped in it and 
took the stereo out. After I took it out I searched the car 
and found a laptop. I hopped out the car and got into my 
ninjas car and we drove away. I started searching the laptop 
bag I came up with an Apple laptop and I was going to throw 
the bag away until one my ninjas was like "No, let me see 
the bag." I gave it to him he kept searching it until he found 
a little pocket in the cuts -- he pulled out a envelope full 
of money. Not one but three stacks of envelopes full with 

We counted it and it was a couple thousand cash. We 
split it four ways each. After that life was good I never asked 
my mom for shoes or pay my phone bill. As the matter of 
fact I gave her money for rent or money just for the little 

She would tell me "Son, where are you getting this 
money from?" with tears on her eyes. And I would say that 
people owed me money... but of course she didn't believe 
me at all. But after that I turned fourteen years old and my 
brother Marcos came out of jail. He had spent four years 
in CYA, and after he found out all the things I did he didn't 
like it. 

He used to have me on check. But I never did stop what 
I was doing so he just left me alone. 

He would tell me like this "One day you're going to do 
something stupid and you're going to end up like me." I 
used to tell him no, but in my head I was like, I know. Well 
after that was where serious parts started. 

I used to walk around my hood with a stack of money 
in my pants a nine millimeter berretta on my waist and a 
whole zip of weed in the cuts, and numerous pills. 
At this time I was drinking, popping pills and snorting hella 
coke. I used to have many different females that gave me 
whatever I wanted. Life was good! 

Well one day we was riding around smoking, slapping hard 
and we stopped with some females I knew. They told me 
they was having a sweet sixteen birthday party up in a hood 
we don't go to. I was like "Naw, that's passing my line all 
the way over there, plus I don't have my thang." 
Well we decided to go over there like some dumb asses and 
we end up getting shot at. I got shot one time on my leg, 
no serious damage. 

You know what's next: We go on a mission, call it a 
day, go home, smoke a blunt, and get with my females, if 
you know what I mean. I turned fifteen years old and got 
tattoos, my dots, and RIP Homie tatted up. I got locked 
up for possession of a firearm I did time, got released to 
another group home. I ran, I got a warrant. I don't go to 
school and my life was going down but I didn't care. 

One day we was at a party and out of nowhere someone 
comes and stabs me in my stomach and I went to the 
hospital. Now I got shot, stabbed and I just get stronger 
and have no remorse for people. When I would go home I 
showed love to my little brother and told him to do good, 
not like me. My sister went to college and finish. My other 
sister had a job and she takes care of business and yes my 
sister bangs too, and my older brother. 

But they wasn't that crazy like me and my brother. My 
dad tried to come back in our lives, even though it was too 
late for that. I turned him down. I told him my father was 
my brother, and my mom was my only thing in my life! My 
brother didn't stop me for what I did -- he just showed me 
how to do it the right way. He even put in work with me 

Everything I seen was too much to think about. I had 
people get shot in front of me. People died in my face... 
but it never came to my mind to stop doing the stuff I was 
doing. It just got me deeper. My homies started dyin' and 
going to jail for twenty-five years.... Like Mike, the one I 


grew with since I was ten years old. Vincent is doing five 
years for attempted murder. 

I didn't feel nothing, just anger. Now I was sixteen years 
old doing the same thing ...more funerals, more people 
going to jail, stuff like that. The only time I was in peace is 
when I was home with family. 

With my hood I won't have to look over my shoulder 
every five minutes. I don't got to wear a bullet proof vest 
everywhere I go. I'd just show love to my family when I was 
around. My mom never knew what I was doing ... only my 
brother knew, because I'd brag about what I did every time 
I got home. 

My brother is almost an OG so he knows what's up. 

One day I was dreaming that I was locked up and I went 
to court and my mother was crying. I woke sweating, and 
when I opened my eyes there was the SWAT team with guns 
to my face and M16s to my face. They took me downtown. 
They tried to interrogate, but I pleaded the fifth and they 
just was getting madder and madder. One of the homicide 
officers tried to throw a chair at me, but I was not going 

They let me go after three days because they didn't 
have evidence on me. But it was a matter of time before I 
went away for a long time. 

I knew some one was snitching but who? I never knew. 
I went back to the same stuff. Now it was me, my boys, and 
a couple of homies riding around in the sideshow looking 
for trouble. We found one of the enemies riding around the 
hyfee train but we didn't know the whole hyfee train was our 
enemies. We thought half of the cars was probably black 
people but I was wrong 12 cars was nothing but Mexicans. 
We wasted all our ammunition on one car and smashed off 
and I didn't notice, like eight cars coming fast stop next to 
us and started popping like seven different guns. Probably 

Pop ,pop ,pop ,pop...! Boom, boom, boom, boom...! I 
thought I was dead.... We didn't have no more bullets so 
we just stood there on a red light under the seats. When 
everything was over I heard some one say "We out, smash 

I heard sirens coming, I got up from under my seat and 
said, "Angelo, Guero, Chendos, y'all cool?" 

Angelo said "Naw blood, I got shot. Take me to the 

We smashed off with all windows busted. We dropped 
Angelo off at the hospital and left to my ninja's house. 
When we got out the car I couldn't believe it. The car look 
like a cheese with hella holes. They probably fired like a 
hundred times. I actually counted like close to thirty of 
them, but I think it was more than that. 
I looked on the back seat where me and Guero was sitting 
and there was like six bullets holes on the head rest. 

My skin of my arms and neck started to get cold and my 
hairs was standing up. I was like damn that could of been 
my head and my chest. In the morning Angelo called me 
and I was like, "You good my ninja where you got shot?" 

He was like, "My legs. It's good though, I'm going home 

I was like, "I'm gonna go to your house, and when you 
get out I'm gonna burn one, and I need to talk to you." 
He was like "Naw ninja, I need to talk to you." 
I said about what? He was like, "Homicide came over 
when I was sleeping and asked me how I got shot." 
I was like, "what you tell them?" 

He said, "I told them that they try to rob me." 

I was like, "It's good I'll holla at you later ninja. 

We hung up the phone. I got dressed and went to the 
living room. My brother was smoking on the couch.... He 
loved waking up in the morning, eatin' some eggs and 

bacon with bread and have a smoke right after that. 

I was seventeen years old now I did the same over 
and over again. Sometimes I think to myself what I want to 
do with my life? Do I want to finish school? Should I stop 
banging? Would I get killed? 

And then that second thought that came to me -- what 
would my family do if I got killed? 

Then that third thought came: Oh well you only live 

Well all that changed when I got caught for attempted 
murder in broad daylight. I was standing at my patna's 
house smoking when a van passed by. School was getting 
out and the van spotted us and one of them pointed at me 
and my homie with his finger, talking to the man driving. 

I told my patna "A go get that thang, they're going to 
come back." 

Well sure enough, they came back hella deep of 
them ninjas got out the car and shot like four times, but he 
didn't hit us. I think he was just trying to scare us. 

My legs was shaking, but he got up and ran to the van 
and the car tried to smash off, but it was too late. I had 
already shot my potna's gun like eight times. When they 
smashed off, I guess one of them got grazed a couple times, 
once on his shoulder and other in his arm. 

When they was on the way to the hospital, they was 
passing stop lights and the police seen them and stopped 

Well, one of them that got shot told 'em someone shot 
him. The cop called the ambulance and the cop told one of 
the other friends from the one that got shot "What happen 
and where?" 

The other person told the cop that he would tell him 
everything the happened and he got into the back of the 
cop car. My dumbass was on the crime scene still, but I 
changed my clothes, took my black sweater off, and let my 
hair loose, and I pissed on my hands so the gun powder 
would go away. At that time the cops drove in the parking 
lot I was in, and I seen someone in the back seat, that's 
when I was like oh shhh. 

They pulled out a shotgun and a fortyu cal at me and 
told me to get on the ground. 

You know the rest I went to jail and yes they came 
and testified against me in court. I took a deal because I 
was going to the Y for four years. My max is sixteen years 
that helped me a lot. Now I'm going to ROP Nevada and I'm 
doing eighteen months over there. I hate seeing my mom 
cry on my visit and I'ma try to change the shhh I do, but I 
ain't going to change who I am. 

I'm gonna bang 'till I die. For all the people that be 
crying about EM or group home or camp y'all got it good!!! 
Very good! My ninja Mike is doing twenty-five with an L 
right now. It can't get no worse than that. And for all them 
people that is looking at serious time, just keep yo'head 
and do the time don't let the time do you! You feel me? Y'all 
still got a good chance. 

Today I had a dream about me at home with my family 
and what woke me up was school time. 

Shhh, I'm still in jail. Oh well. Well ,Beat that's my story 
I'm out. 

-Lil' Crazy, Alameda 

From The Beat: We're proud of you for stepping up the way you did and 
telling your story with such heart. You didn't hide from the ugly parts but 
you didn't glorify them either, instead you just wrote the truth of how 
you came to be the young person you are today, with all the right and 
wrong you've faced and done. We shuddered at all those vivid images. 
You know what hurts? What hurts is that you and your friends, some of 
whom are loyal and talented contributors to The Beat each week, love 
each other, try to watch each other's backs, yet you lead each other into 
death and destruction. Think of all the suffering that came from that day 
you went looking for trouble. ON BOTH SIDES. Think of all that family 
suffering. You say it's not too late for the people reading this, at the end 
of your piece. But Raul, it's not too crazy for you either. 

Alcohol Afld It's iflflooflce 

Well, it's Yogi again. This time Fm here to talk about my 
drinking problem, and its history. 

My forefathers said to drink not too excessively of the 
white man's firewater (alcohol), for it could turn a good 
man into a whimpering fool. I know now what it is that 
they meant. 

Indeed, it is true, alcohol can do all types of things 
to the person drinking it. Alcohol has done a number of 
things to me. 

Because of the excessive alcohol drinking I've been 
doing, I've become a very forgetful person. I've actually lost 
a great amount of memory cells already. Nowadays, I forget 
about stuff that happened just two minutes before. The 
memories eventually return, but I have to try really hard to 

Most of the things I used to know, school-wise, I've 
forgotten. Well, actually this was not all caused just by 
alcohol, I also smoke a lot of weed. 

Some other things that alcohol does for me is that 
sometimes in the mornings I wake up cold and shivering, 
my arms and legs shaking a lot. 

Well, it's not as bad as with my uncle, but it's pretty 

I also have slight heart problems. Like when I exercise 
or do a lot of laps in gym class, my heart starts to beat too 
fast. I lost stamina, so I get tired very easily now. With 
running, I can do only so many laps before I get short on 
my breath and start wheezing. The wheezing may also be 
caused by the excessive smoking. 

Once I start wheezing I get little sharp pains in the 
heart, that feels like it's getting poked by sharp needles. 

Alcohol doesn't really do anything for me, health-wise. 
Actually, it doesn't do anything for anybody health-wise. 
You may think alcohol is doing something for you, but 
that's just while you're drinking it. 

I used to think that way too. I thought "Well, hey, I'm 
kicking it with the homies, let's get drunk!" 

I didn't think it could hurt me. I thought, "Hey, you get 
drunk this night, and then wake up next morning. How bad 
can that be?" 

Now, sitting here in my cell, I think "Damn, what if I 
had gotten so drunk one day, and never woke up to see 
another day?" You see, that's how it is. One minute you're 
finishing your second shot, the next minute you're downing 
a whole bottle. Before you know it, you're drunk off of one 
bottle and a half, maybe two bottles and you say, "Screw it, 
let's go do something!" Most likely that "something" ends 
up being something stupid, not to mention dangerous. 

So you and your patnas go on what you guys call a 'drunk 
mission'. Maybe you go steal a car or two. Probably, you'll 
go and 'pull licks' on an innocent person. Think about it, 
you're drunk and trying to rob an innocent person. What 
if that innocent person turns out to be not so innocent? 
There you are, a stupid drunk kid, trying to rob a person 
you think has nothing to defend themselves with, all of a 
sudden you're being stunned by a gun pointed directly at 
you. Whose fault do you think it would be if you ended up 

I know I may not be the preferred one to be talking, 
seeing as I'm locked up right along with you, but, well, I'm 
just trying out some advice so that anybody can learn from 
my mistakes, instead of learning the hard way. It is always 

good to have a helping hand there for us when we need 

Well, I started drinking at age 11. I had my first shot of 
some malt liquor, beer, when I was nine, but drinking really 
caught on when I was 11. I was a pretty big eleven year old, 
so I was able to handle drinking some of the hard stuff. 
Whenever I drank, I started off sipping on the drink. Soon 
enough, I'd get tired of holding the full cup, so I'd chug it. 
Chugging a drink was always a big mistake with me. Once 
I've chugged that first drink I start to feel in the mood. 
That's when I grab the bottle and start drinking straight 
shots. Pretty soon the bottle is gone and I realize it. 

So, I chill for a while, until I start craving another shot. 
That's when I feel anger shoot through my body and I get 
aggressive. I get up to look for another bottle, and stumble 
and fall. This whole time I've been sitting down. If you've 
ever drank sitting down then you know, as soon as you get 
up, that's when the alcohol starts kicking in. 

So, I finally get on my feet. I'm feeling really hot, so I 
tear my shirt off, all the while with a droopy, drunken face, 
stumbling. I'm not really thinking right, out of nowhere I 
laugh to myself. That little giggle starts an all out laugh 
attack. I just stand there, stumbling, laughing like a 

Suddenly, I end up with tears fiowing down my cheeks. 
Tears of remembrance, tears of pain, of remorse. And 
then I let myself fall to the ground, all out bawling. Not 
too long after that, I get back up, still struggling with my 
drunkenness. My head starts spinning, throbbing all 
the while, and I black out. All I really know is that I've 
magically grown 10 times stronger, at least that's what the 
alcohol makes me think. While drunk, time seems to pass 
by at lightning speed. One minute I'm drunk, then I black 
out, all of a sudden I'm waking up on one of my homies' 

That's why it's a good thing to keep it with your homies 
around you. Because, you never know what you could end 
up doing while in a drunken stupor. You might pass out on 
the street, or black out and almost get ran over and killed. 
You never know, you could end up killing yourself! 

I think that the worst part about drinking is that when 
you drink, most likely you end up drinking so much that 
you eventually black out. While being in a blackout, your 
mind is not capable of functioning right. You have all the 
alcohol molecules controlling your brain. 

While the alcohol is controlling your brain, it is also 
controlling the decisions that you make. Therefore, I tell 
you guys, and girls, be careful with alcohol. It can really 
hurt you and your body. Most of all, it can have a really 
big impact on your life. I've seen people that I really care 
about and love get their lives completely ruined by alcohol. 
I've seen them so messed up by it that they eventually just 
wasted away and died, still under the infiuence. 

Me, I've already decided to quit drinking, I just hope 
I have enough fortitude to follow through. For all you 
drinkers, I hope you also decide to quit this dirty habit and 
kick it to the curb. 

-Yogi, Alameda 

From The Beat: Yogi, this is an extraordinary chronicle of the way the 
disease of alcoholism has ruined the early years of your adulthood. 
Reading it makes us think of all the times we've taken drunkenness for 
granted, or casually said "man you need to quit" You turn up the volume 
on the urgency... You make us go through it with you, and you make us 
feel how hard it is to say no once you get started. We hope you seek out 
and get the support you need to break free of its power for good. 

W/f//e helng In a hIacKoMt, ifOMt wind Is not capahle of fmcti'offi'ttg right. ioi4 have all 
the alcohol molecules control ling ifour hralH, 


7 nn 

Mi Historia Es 


Un dia sali de mi casa buscando una major vida para mi, 
para poder prosperar en mi vida y la verdad es que para venir 
aqui sufri mucho. En primer lugar, abandonar a mi familia, 
luego salir de mi paiz, de mi tierra querida, abandonar a mis 
amigos, y seguir una ruta muy dificil hasta subirme al tren 
por primera vez Uenos de miedo. Yo nunca pensaba pasar 
esto en mi vida. Nunca pense aguantar mucha hambre para 
poder Uegar aqui a los Estados Unidos. 

Vine aqui para ser alguien en la vida y que nadie nos 
humille por nada. 

Me gustaria servir a Dios pero servirle de corazon, como 
es debido. Sin El no somos nadie en esta vida. 

Quiero ayudarles a mi mama y a mi familia para que 
ellos no sufran como yo. Tambien estoy aqui para que el dia 
de mafiana si Dios quiere y me lo permita y tenga un hijo 
que tenga todo y que el no sufra. Quisiera darle lo mejor y 
aconsejarlo que no tome un camino malo. 

From The Beat: Es muy duro dejar todo por unsk buena vida. Lo 
entendemos. Lo que nosotros no entendemos es porque ustedes 
se meten en cosas que les quitara el privilegio de vivir aqui y poder 
superarse despues de haber sufrido mucho. Ahora ya es tarde para 
voiver el pasado, pero no es tarde para poder cumpiir tus deseos. Hay 
mucho tiempo. De los errores aprendemos y esperamos que tu \txysk% 
aprendido bien de tu error. Busca a Dios y pideie de corazon que te de 
la fuerza que necesitas para salir adelante en buenos caminos. Alejate 
de las cosas que te vayan a traer a este mismo lugar. Hay mucho trabajo 
mejor que el que llama ser trabajo. 

My Story Is 

One day I left my house searching for someone better, 
to succeed in life and the truth is that I suffered a lot to 
accomplish what I wanted. In first place, I left my family, my 
country, my lovely land, and my friends. I took trip over a 
hard road and getting on a train risking to loose a part of my 
body. I never thought of going through any of this in my life. 
I never thought of suffering so much hunger to come to the 

I came her to be someone in life and prevent someone to 
humiliate us from anything. 

I want to serve God with all my heart like it is supposed 
to be. Without Him, we are nothing in this life. 

I want to help my mom and family, so they won't suffer 
like I did. I'm also here so tomorrow when I had a kid, I can 
provide all and never let him to suffer. I want to give him the 
best and guide him to a good road. 

-Francisco, San Francisco 
From The Beat: it's hard to leave everything for a better life. We 
understand. What we can't understand is why you mess with things 
that will take away the privillege to live here and be able to succeed 
after going through so much. Now it's too late to change the past, but 
it's not too late to accomplish your dreams. There's plenty of time. We 
learn from our mistakes and we hope you learned from yours. Keep 
looking for God and ask Him with all you heart to give you the strength 
you need to succeed in good roads. Get away from bad things that can 
bring you back in here. There are better and honest jobs that the one 
you call a job. 

Full Of Rage 

The things that's going on in my life that gets me angry 
is why pops left. It hurts me because I got to learn things 
on my own. I don't have any body to help me with my 
mistakes. Or somebody I could talk to. 

There's really nothing to make it better because I am 
already learning from my mistakes. I think I could deal 
with it now. I am already growing up. Now I got brothers 
to tell them what's right or wrong. That's what makes me 
proud. Being in here might change my life. 

-Gabriel, Alameda 

From The Beat: We hope you do change your life and grow up to be the 
man that you want to be. You do need to be out there guiding your 
brothers and show them what's right from wrong. They need a positive 
role model in their lives and that positive person should be you. So, 
don't let anything stop you from doing what you need to do. Learn from 
your mistakes and teach your brothers that way they won't make the 
same mistakes you made. 


li Die Es la Vida 


Pues en realidada para mi la vida es algo muy dificil 
de comprender. Pues uno en algunos momentos tiene 
problemas en los cuales se sienten acorralado y muchas 
veces no encontramos la salida aunque este a nuestra vista 
la solucion de dichos problemas. 

En muchos caso,s tomamos decisiones muy precipitante 
las cuales los traen muchas complicaciones. Por eso 
tenemos que estar seguro de nosotros mismos y tener fe en 
Dios que es el quien toma las decisiones y nos ayuda a salir 

Muchas veces uno trompieza y cae pero hay que luchar 
por lo que queremos y levantarnos de nuevo. Y mas decididos 
que nunca hay que aferrarnos al pasado, el pasado es el 
pasado y eso nadie lo va a cambiar. Hay que salir adelante. 
Pase lo que pase la vida sigue. 

Recuerda siempre hay una resconpenza por tus actos. 
La vida es una caja de sorpresa y hay que estar preparados 
para lo que venga. Que Dios te bendiga. 

From The Beat: Gracias port us palabras tan sabias. Esperamos que esta 
palabras las tengas en mente y la apliques en tu vida porque la realidad 
es que la necesitas. £Y tu has pensado en luchas despues de los tropiezo 
que te ha dado la vida? Nos dijistes cosas que son muy interezante y a 
la vez verdades, pero tambien nos gustaria saber sobre tus planes, tu 
futuro, tus pensamiento en como enderezar tu vida. ^Sera po sible? 

What Life Is 

In reality, for me life is something very hard to understand. 
We all have problems in some moments in life that make us 
feel intimidated and sometimes we can't find the way out 
even if those solutions are right in front of us. 

In some cases, we make precipitant choices way that 
bring us a lot of complications. That's why we have to be sure 
of ourselves and have faith in God who is the one who has 
the right to make decisions and help us to move on in life. 

A lot of times we trip and fall, but we have to fight for 
what we want and get up again. And we have to be sure, like 
never before, that the past is the past and nobody can change 
it. We have to succeed. Whatever happens, life continues. 

Remember that there is an award for every action. Life 

is like a box of surprises and we have to be prepared for 

whatever comes. God bless you. 

-Marvin, San Francisco 
From The Beat: Thank you for your wise words. We hope you also keep 
these words in mind and apply them to your life because you really need 
it. Have you thought about what will you do after all the trips that life 
has give you? You've shared things that are really interesting and true, 
but we would also love to hear your future plans, thoughts in how to 
straighten your life, is it possible? 

Hope And Support 


What's up with The Beat? Chea, its your boy, Lil' Rob 
mang, holdin' it down, still up in here. 

Someone that I go to when I feel that there is hope 
around right now is my lawyer, social worker and my 
family. These people are supporting me a "hunet" percent 
right now, showing me that I still have hope, even though 
I'm going through a lot of bs right now. 

They played me, and the judge made her decision to 
send me to Log Cabin Ranch for a year, but I ain't tripping 
though. I still got hope right now because my lawyer, 
social worker and family is going to keep on supporting 
me no matter what I'm going to have to go through. 

Well Beat, that's all I got for y'all today. I'ma cut this 

-Lil' Rob, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We always appreciate reading a piece that recognizes 
that there are people trying to help, even when they can't succeed all 
the time. Do you think these people are standing behind you because 
they see something in you that gives them hope for your future? What 
will you do so that you don't let them — and yourself — down? 


7 nn 

//// // 

First Day In Juvie 


rm tired of being here already, and I have only been in 
here since yesterday. When I woke up, I thought I was at 
home for a minute, but then the speaker said, "Get up! 
Fold your blankets. Get ready for school!" 

I felt bad because I could be at home, because I got 
suspended from school because of the same incident that 
got me in here. I might be getting out tomorrow if the DA 
doesn't press charges, but if they do, I'll be in here until 
my court date. 

I had to wake up earlier than I do at home. At home, I 
don't have to wake up 'til 8:30, because my school started 
at 9:15. After I get out, I plan on not coming back over 

It makes me feel sad being in here, because it's 
making my mom sad and my family sad. 

-Mase, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We don't know what "incident" got you here, but you 
icnow, so you also icnow what you must avoid in order to stay out of 
here. Far too many "first-timers" promise never to return, but find it 
hard to iceep that promise once they get out. So don't forget how you're 
feeling now, and how what you've done has affected your mom and 
family (and you). Coming here for the first time may not be so bad, if it 

also means it's the LAST time! 

Outrageous Pareuts 

The thing that really makes me so mad is when people 
find out that I have both of my parents. The first thing 
people say is you lucky that your parents are still 

But the part that I hate about it is because all they 
do is argue, to be married for so long and spent so much 
time with each other. They suppose to be able to get alone 
with each other better. But the thing that pisses me off 
about my parents is they don't just argue, when they do, 
they have a problem with getting me involved and tryin' to 
have me choose sides. 

The way I look at the whole situation is if they gone 
do so much arguing, why be together? Every time I turn 
around they at each other throats. It's like an every day 
routine to them. But it will be a lot easier if they took a 
little time off because when they together its non-stop. 
If I choose one side the other parent will get mad and if I 
ask for something they will tell me to ask the one I sided 

-Ricky, Alameda 

From The Beat: Sounds like a lot of mayhem going on in your house, but 
you are lucky in a %en%e that you do have both of your parents. Most of 
your peers probably only have one parent and if not then they probably 
have none; Maybe because they are locked up, dead, or because they 
just simply abandoned their kids. Some of your peers have no parents 
and would rather have two arguing parents than no parents. Maybe 
you should tell your parents to go get some counseling and to focus on 
trying to raise you instead of arguing over petty things. Or, we suppose 
separating is the best solution for all. 

What Gives Me Hupe 


What give me hope when I'm down is when I think 
about my family and my future. First, my family gives me 
hope because every time I'm locked up and I don't have 
anything good to look forward to, it's always good to hear 
from or think about them just to keep it going. 

And also what gives me hope is thinking about my 
future, because every time I think about the dreams I want 
to fulfill, that's what I keep in my head for motivation. 


From The Beat: Good for you, Leonard. We would love to read about 
some of those dreams that give you motivation, and how you plan to 
achieve them. 



Sometimes the things that seem to hurt us the most 
are the very things that bring out the best in us and in 

life period. 
They are the struggles that help us discover the faith 
we thought we'd lost the courage to let go of the past 

and begin again and again. 

Because challenges help us to see who we really are, 

where we want to go, and what our lives can be 

if only we have faith and keep on trying and trying. 

Last but not least, never ever give up at all. 

-Derik, Alameda 

From The Beat: You're absolutely right. Life is all about struggles and 
how we deal with them. Struggles help u% build our character and only 
make u% stronger. Setting goals for our selves and overcoming the 
obstacles that stand in our way is what defines determination. Never 
give up! You have to struggle and strive to succeed. Life is not easy! 

I'm Tired 

:he I 
rer I 


I'm tired of waking up in the morning. 

I'm tired of eating when the food comes to the unit. 

I'm tired of taking a shower when its time. 

I'm tired of coming out to activity when the staff tells us. 

I'm tired of using the same clothing every day. 

I'm tired of looking at the same walls every day. 

I'm tired of juvenile hall, 

I just want to go to YA alternative and do my time and 

get out and have a new life. 

I want to stop the tears that are coming down from the 

eyes of my family! 

-Gonzalez, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We know it must be difficult to lose all your freedoms 
when you come to juvenile hall. It must be even harder to see how much 
what you've done has hurt your family. We're glad that your family's 
pain is motivating you to change your life and we hope some of that 
motivation comes from your own desire to be happy and lead a successful 
life. We're glad you wrote this piece and we hope that you being tired of 
being in here keeps you out of trouble when you get out. 

J L 

Aunther Day lu The Hall 

Many secrets I hold. 

Open up your ears as my story unfolds. 

Stress and drama, all in my face. 

If I could I would fly away into space. 

I'm stuck in the struggle with friends 

where my crazy life begins. 

In the pen is where it ends. 

OG's become a couch. 

I'm lost in a maze. 

I can't see through the fog. 

My girl's about to have a baby, 

so it's hard. 

I played the game. 

Now I feel like I got hit by a train. 

The system treats us like trash. 

I wish these windows were glass. 

But that's all a dream. 

God forgive me for my sins. 

You're the only one who sees my pain. 

My life's all a big mistake. 

-Oscar, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: Oscar, our lives are complex and sometimes present u% 
with sets of conflicting loyalties. We know just a little bit about the 
difficulties you are facing. We think you should consider that your first 
loyalty might be to attempt to lead a life that is true to yourself. We 
know there are codes you are told you cannot break. But the truest code 
is to be sk% humane and loving sk% possible. You owe it to your family and 
to yourself to behave in a way that will do the most good for you, for 
them, and for skn^fine who has been hurt by your behavior. 


7 nn 

//// // 

Accidents Happen 


I *" 

What I call an accident is why I'm in here. It was an 
accident because of the simple fact that somebody did 
something and blamed me for the dirty work that he 
did. Because he knew that I was not going to say that it 
was him. So he told on me. Now Fm in juvenile hall for 
something somebody else did. 

I'm gonna let these days pass me up because of one 
of my so-called patnas wanted to point me and my house 
out. But it's good I'm gonna do my time and just get out 
'cause I know the bigger man never snitch, no matter how 
much time they try to throw at you. You never suppose to 
run your mouth even if he snitched on you. Do your time 
get out and be a bigger man, somebody who not gone run 
they mouth. 

I think an accident is somebody that snitches on you 
because of the consequences that he will have to suffer 
when you get out. 

-Lil' Co, Alameda 

From The Beat: That's a messed up situation to be in. That goes to show 
you that you can't trust skn^one when it comes to this on the edge 
lifestyle. Your so-called friend ratted you out because he wasn't man 
enough to accept the consequences for his actions. Just let it go. Do 
your time and move on with your life. It's going to be challenging to get 
off probation, so let bygones be bygones. You don't need to be looking 
for any more trouble. That's just gonna end up bringing you right back 


Hearing my brother getting into a car crash. 

Breaking up with my girlfriend was an accident. 

Beating someone ass because he was talking hella shhh 

and disrespectful to me, and getting locked up for not 
being guilty. Hurting my parents by not listening to their 


My friend getting into a car accident and passing away 

because the driver was drunk. 

Tripping and falling down the stairways. 

Getting into a car accident with my stepsister. 

Pissing in my pants when I was little, like four or five. 

Play fighting and got into a serious fight. 

Stepping on a random person shoe by accident. 

Helping my friend, then getting hit by them by accident. 

Getting bad grades right now and messing up. 

Going too far and almost attempted murder. 

-Andy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You've listed enough here to be described sk% "accident 
prone." But at the same time, some of what you describe sk% "accidents" 
aren't accidents at all. Getting bad grades is stn example of something 
predictable if you don't go to school or study, not stn accident. Going 
"too far" and almost attempting murder requires a decision that you 
made to begin with, not skn accident. We are really sorry about your 
friend dying from stn "accident" caused by a drunk driver, and we hope 
that experience keeps you from drinking and driving, because if you 
hurt or kill someone while drunk at the wheel, no court will consider 
that skn accident, either. 

What Hints Me Hipe 


What gives me hope is my father. He died in October '07, 
and while I'm locked up, he keeps me and my mind right 
while I'm in this place. 

I think about him all the time, and I talk to him. He 
tells me, "Just sit tight 'cause I see things you don't see, 
and this place is so much better than what I see for you, 
and a lot safer." 

So yeah, my dad gives me hope. 

-Bigg B, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We are sure that your father is looking down and 
guiding you to a better place. It's good that you are both talking to him 
and listening to what he has to say to you. He is giving you excellent 

What Once Outraoed Me 


When I feel outraged, the most is when I think about 
my ex-boyfriend, because knowing he's with some other 
female really makes me angry. 

I had tried by best to hang on to him, but I guess it 
wasn't good enough. 

The reason I get so angry is because he said he loves 
me when the truth is, he don't. 

I'm angry because he left me for another female that 
I really don't like. I had some problems with her at the 
beginning, then it turned into a war. Many fists were 
thrown and many tears were shed, but I don't regret any 
of them. As I hit her, I felt her pain, but I did not care, 
because I feel she was my enemy and my worst nightmare. 
Every time I hit her, the thought of what she had put me 
through had just got stronger. 

The man she stole had soon to be gone and the pain 
and suffering I had been through could soon be relieved. 
To me, that female doesn't exist. To me, she's just a bad 
nightmare, soon to be gone. She was no longer just a 
person, she was the person I hated most in my life. 

I no longer feel hate, love or pain. My emotions had 
left just like he did. So to me when someone mentions 
their names, I don't know them. To me they were really 
never there. They were ghosts that I really only see when 
I'm angry. 

-Amanda, Marin 

From The Beat: Isn't it amazing that two people who were so crucial to 
your life, are now gone, after so much pain and drama for you? You must 
feel totally depleted. Did you also consider your now ex-boyfriend's roll 
in putting you through all the mess? What have you learned now about 
his character you didn't knoiv when you first fell in love with him? What 
has this taught you about dealing with young men you may love some 

For M) Dawg 


Just the other day 

I talked to my dawg 

He said he's okay 

Just watching time pass slow each and every day 

Told me to keep him in my heart and pray 

Tell me why I feel this pain 

All my homies goin' away 

Thinking my life is going insane. 

I've seen your son, I've seen his smile 

He looks exactly like you, dawg 

Breaks my heart down to tears 

Knowing that you gone for years 

I'm gon be right here by your side 

Promise to keep your name alive 

You my brotha, Vietnamese pride, and that's for life 

You told me keep my life straight. 

Don't end up in this place. 

Be a dad to your son, and everything gonna be okay 

I noticed that you changed 

but I guess that's a better way 

You told me you read the Bible and you let god handle 

your fate At night I lay in bed thinking about the words 

you say 

How much it affects me, dawg, going day to day 

I'm gon do what I can for you 

Promise to give it my all forever true 

-Viet Tiger, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: The love that binds friends is in a class by itself, and 
you have expressed that love sk% well sk% any we've read. All we can say, 
VT, is that in order to take care of anyone else, you first have to take 
care of yourself. 



7 nn 

//// // 


The hate in me wants to kill 

Every time the rage come out real 

Madness wants to take over me 

Whenever the mind take control of me 

People think it's a game whenever I show the trigger 

But remember one thing, I was born a killer 

The only reason why I never unleash my fury 

"Cause the vision Fm seeking makes it weary 

So pray to god that you're still alive 

"Cause he's the one taking your side 

Realize now that you're not meant for the game 

Sooner or later, someone will take all the fame 

Now I'm on my knees saying god help me please 

My outrage is now taking over me 

-Lynoodie, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: If the God you believe in created u% all in HIS image, 
then how could you be "born a killer"? Isn't that just a self-centered way 
of saying you're more important than God? If you think God is taking 
your side, then why are you not talcing His side? No one is "meant" 
for the game, because the game is not "meant" to be — not part of 
the Creation of God, but of the creation of the so-called children of 
God. Instead of trying to justify what cannot be justified (showing that 
trigger, for example), we'd be much more interested to read where your 
rage comes from. What is the source of your fury? Can it be tamed, or 
turned to making changes in yourself and in the world? 



I hope I can get over what happen in the past with me 
and my uncle. 

I hope that I can do a program and stay at it and not 
listen to what people say. 

I hope in five years I will be in college becoming the 
doctor I want to be. 

I hope in the next three years I will be able stay out of 
jail so that I can go and see my uncle that's on my mom 
side in jail and take good care of him while he is in jail. 

I hope that I will be able to see the looks on my family 
face when I come home to stay home for good - and stay 
out of jail for good. 

-Jacqueline, Alameda 

From The Beat: We hope all these things too - because you have it in 
you to be a great doctor. You know what it^ like to feel sick on the 
inside and need healing, so you would have real compassion for your 

M) Seciil Cbace 


When I moved to Richmond I start hanging around the 
wrong people that were selling drugs and playing with 
guns. I stopped going to school and started hanging in 
the streets. That's when I started coming to jail. 

Then I started going to group homes. I remember 
one night clearly. I was standing on the corner across 
from Bingo's the liquor store. I was selling crack with 
my friend T. We were talking when a white van came and 
started shooting at me. The bullet hit me in the left leg, 
and I immediately hit the ground. I thought my life was 

I remember waking up in the hospital... that's all I 
remember. After that I never went back to Richmond 
again and I never saw T. When I was in the hospital the 
doctor told my mom I was never going to walk again. But 
I started walking less than six months later. It took me a 
total of four months to learn to walk walk. 

-Dominique, Alameda 

From The Beat: Of course we had to call this "my second chance," You 
almost lost your life, you almost lost your legs, you put yourself in 
terrible danger, and yet you had the miracle of getting a second chance. 
Did this provide any kind of a wakeup call for you? We hope so... don't 
lAfaste this chance! 

rm Gonna Lay Ynu Down |A Sonol 

When I first met you didn't play no games, 
When we was at the club you was the same, 

And when you got around them fem£des you didn't ch£inge. 
But when my tongue touched yours you screamed my 



Boy I'm gonna lay you down boy 

I'm gonna lay you down, you bring me all this joy 

That's why you're my favorite boy 

'Cause I'm gonna lay you down boy 

I'm gonna lay you down 

You kept it real with me. 

And that much I can see. 

You loved me for me. 

And that's why were getting married 

Chorus X 2 

Now we got a family and were good. 

Plus we even moved up out the hood. 

And our son is getting smarter everyday. 

And our daughter makes us smile when we're gray 

Oh I forgot to tell you, that your wifey has some damn 

good news. So listen to what I have to say, 

Shhh we got another baby on the way. 

Chorus X 2 

Bridge I am the woman for you, 

and you kept it true, so you have my heart, 

'Till death do us part 

Chorus repeat out 

-Sydney, Alameda 

From The Beat: Even without being able to hear you sing it, this song 
shows the talent of stn emerging songwriter with real skills... You got it 
all - the verses, the chorus, the bridge. Nice! 

Mj lite 


Straight from the gutter where I was born and raised 

Only had one mother until she went to the grave 

Now my life is like a lil' cloudy ass gray 

Prayin' to my mama to show me a better way 

But I finally realized I gotta change my ways 

But I just can't help it when I doing my thangs. 

I'm thinking about the life I live. 

It ain't funny runnin' from the police and getting shot at 

Wondering will my family put up with my bad ass. 

I know I'm giving my f£imily p£iin while I'm doing my thang. 

Hella shhh done change when my mama passed away. 

I know if she was here it would be better days. 

Thinking about my whole drama life. 

Shhh it's getting me crazy, wishing I would never live the way I live 

Now that I'm here I got to deal with this shhh 

I ain't got a father to show me how to be man. 

Ever since that shhh done happen I got to do my best 

I can to stay out of trouble but it seems like I can't so 

I guess I gotta deal with it and keep my head up and be 

my own man 

-Lil' Rondale, Alameda 

From The Beat: The last line of this poem gets it exactly right. You've 
had a lot of grief and suffering, but now you have to be your own man 
- not the man the streets tell you to be, not the man the liquor tells you 
to be, not the man your anger tells you to be. What is it that you deep 
down want from life, and how do you plan to take those first painful 
steps to make it happen? 



7 nn 

//// // 

At The Same Time 


I don't have dreams I'm no Martin Luther King 

I'm just on the block selling to these dope fiends. 

I don't have dreams but I do have hopes 

But at the same time ...on the block selling drugs man 

I don't got a future but I do got a conclusion 

but at the same time I'm the pollution. 

I'm the pollution in the water 

Next week my baby having a daughter but I'm a take care of her. 

But at the same time I ain't dreaming because I ain't caring 

But at the same time rest in peace to my ninjas in the hood. 

I'm a keep it real I'm still on the earth 

but at the same time I know what I deserve. 

I deserve respect but at the same time I got some regrets. 

But I wanted to get my turf tatted on my chest 

But at the same time I don't wanna get no mess but when it 

comes to it I gotta spray the Tech. If you're tryin' to step on my 

toes you gonna have to gun 

But at the same time in the game time 

But at the same time I'm used to playing basketball, runnin' my 

draws if you leap like a frog I'm gonna have to drop you dog it's 

hard in the game ... if you walk to the store you can get chest 


-Lir T 

From The Beat: It makes perfect sense that you keep saying "at the same 
time," because it's iiice you have two live a at the same time... the part 
that wants better for himself, and understands that this is no way to 
be, and then the part of you that is hell-bent on hurting himself. It must 
be stressful to try and handle these two sides of yourself "at the same 
time." Have you ever tried to go positive before? What happened? 


One Tuesday I told a secret. 

It was for nobody's ears, 

one that would provide the space to indulge. 

But my friend spilled the beans. 

My brain began to fog. 

My emotions were smashed, 

as if hit by an invisible train. 

My nervous system broke like glass. 

I wish it was a dream. 

How could I have made such a mistake? 

-Reagan, Santa Cruz 
From The Beat: You're in good company. Almost sk% much sk% we like to 
hear a secret, most of u% want, at least secretly, to unburden ourselves 
of them. We like to tell them. Secrets seem to have a built in self- 
destructing mechanism. By the way good writing. 

Was God Asleep 


Was God sleeping when Dab fell out the window 

Was God asleep when Tamu overdosed 

Was God asleep when they tried to rob my cousin Robert 

When he was shot in the head by accident 

Was God asleep when Mike got killed 

Was God asleep when Rob the third died before his first 


Was God asleep when they took my friend to jail 

They say he killed his baby 

Was God asleep when my dad's best friend shot him three times 

Was God asleep when Cornell and Lathan got hit by cars 

Was God asleep when they gave my cousin Phil fifty years 

Was God asleep when them dudes shot up my house 

Was God asleep when Hodari got killed 

Was God asleep when Kev opened up the door 

Was God asleep when my cousin killed my other cousin over a 

dice game 

Was he asleep? 

-Young Mari, Alameda 
From The Beat: Things happen for a reason. But you the way you're 
writing this poem is like God is suppose to be reason why all these 
tragic events are happening. You can't always blame God, or somebody 
else for someone else's actions. We're all responsible for the actions we 
take. We all make our own decisions. And whether they end up being 
good or bad, or the consequences don't end up the way we want them 
to, it's a part of life. You can't expect to be making bad decisions all your 
life and get away with it. We mourn with you and we're sorry for all the 
people you have lost, whether it be to the streets, tragic events, or have 
lost their freedom for life. But life goes on and you can't keep dwelling 
on things. You have to learn to accept it. That's the way life goes. Be 
thankful that you're enjoying this breath of fresh air right noiw. 

I I 


To Mom 


Dear Mom, I love and miss you. Fm sorry for all the pain 
I've caused you. I know all you hear about me is negative 
and yet you never give up on me. You stand solid like a 
statue, always got my back threw think and thin good or 

But when you told me you had cancer it broke my 
heart. I felt like I could no longer hold my head up high. 
Without you I'm heartless. You complete my soul. 

I know people think I'm a worthless gangster, but my 
goal in life is to make you happy. Mom I pray every night 
that you get better. 

Love you mom, love your son Ronnie. 

-Lir Mousie, Alameda 

From The Beat: There are so many people who know that you are much 
more than a "worthless gangster" - including anyone who reads this 
piece. You must be strong now, even with all the fear for your mother's 
health. Her love is inside you, she^ been giving it to you since you were 
let that love keep you strong... and we'll be praying for her too. 


Happy Moment 


Missin' my daughter when I'm up in here 

Even though she's away I still care 

I called my cousins in Stockton on Saturday, 

And he told me how he wish I was there. 

He told me he seen my daughter and she's grown up 

And startin' to get longer hair 

And she's walkin' now and what he said had me put on a smile 

I know it's been a while since I seen her but she Ccin walk 

I think back to myself how I'm just a screw up. 
He said she got a pretty smile ...damn I wish I can see it. 
I just want to make up all the thing's that's gone I wish 
that I never went Wrong. I just hope when I'm free baby 
mama would let me see her.. I'm gonna do My best to be 
next to her. I ain't got much to say but I will always love 
her. I love you lil' princess, and damn I can't believe I'm 
not there to your father. 

-Lil' Rondale, Alameda 

From The Beat: It's not too late to find a way to be with her. Like you 
said, she's your lil' princess and you're her King. She needs you, you need 
her. First thing you need to do is have your PO put you in touch with a 
local community group that can inform you of your rights. You probably 
can't have custody, but we bet you can get visitation. Next, and most 
important, you need to look inside your soul and ask if you have the 
strength to cut EVERYTHING that might lead to violence or jailtime 
or separation from her. That means missions, drinking, vengeances, all 
of it. Can you do that? And if you can't do it on your own, can you 
reach out to a program that will help you. Reread this beautiful and 
heartbroken poem. Do you even have a choice? 

Permaoent Daoiage 

What outrages me how the government allows drugs to 
enter the United States, which travels to cities with poor 

Also, how the government allows movie actors to 
run for governor positions and depict positive changes 
supposedly, but punish anti-gang activists to death. I 
mean who better to obtain change than a person who 
lived both sides, positive and negative? 

This same governor permits large sums of money to 
build jails across the country, rather put up more schools 
or use those same budgets to lower the increasing poverty 

Instead of helping overcome these situations, all I 
witness is unneeded permanent damage. 

-Dante, Alameda 

From The Beat: Like you say, it takes someone who has %een both sides 
of how things work to make that serious change. Are you ready to step 
up and be that someone soon? Reread what you just wrote - you have a 
lot to offer the world. And maybe the world also has a lot to offer you. 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mmsmM^mmim ^/// " 

Lots Of Accidents 

X f 

Accidents, I've had a lot of them, from when I was little 
to when I'm sixteen now. And also with my family and my 
little brother, that is now two going on three, feel me. 

I remember when I use to learn how to ride a bike and 
I couldn't do it without training wheels. My grandpa had 
to help me but now I can do it all by myself. It just takes 
practice, that is the key to everything in life, but lets get 
to my brother. 

Now I can remember it like it was yesterday, he was 
born. Then I was there when he started to crawl and then 
he worked his way to walking. He use to fall and cry all 
the time, bump his head and all types of shhh and that is 
my story. 


From The Beat: You're right. The key to everything in life is it taices 
practice, dedication and determination. If you mess up, just try again. 
If you can't get something right, iceep practicing until you get it right. 
Just liice your little brother! 

My Love 

My Livermore love Anna 

You have a sexy smile 

The things you do make me go wild. 

I love your kiss 

And your beautiful lips 

Baby you're so fine 

And your all mine 

You're the only girl who I've been with who I respect. 

-Lil' Knuckle 

From The Beat: Congratulations! We're happy for you and your girl. 
Being in love is a wonderful thing. You shouldn't be ivasting your time 
coming to the halls with a bunch of dudes. You should be on the outs in 
school, with your family and chilling with your girl! 

Little Accideot 


I got into an accident before I came to this Juvenile 
Justice Center. I was on a dirt bike and a car hit me but it 
was not a bad hit though. I was able to jump up and drive 
off on my dirt bike. Then I saw the police behind me so I 
just kicked it in third gear and got out of there. 


From The Beat: You have to be a more careful, especially when you're 
on a bike. Bikes don't have no seat belts so if you get into any kind of 
accident you're gonna be flying like superman! 

Big AcGideots To Smaii ^ 

All around us accidents happen. When you run into 
someone and you make them fall, that's an accident. 
Maybe a child spills his juice on the floor that's an 
accident. Accidents are things that happen when you 
didn't mean them to happen. 

You see people in car accidents and some could be 
tiny like a fender bender or some could be big like a car 
flipping over. 

There are tons of things that could be accidents. 

I remember when I saw an accident with some cars 
that were flipped over and the cars were really dented. I 
even saw ambulance taking away a few people. Accidents 
happen from small to big. 


From The Beat: You're right there are all kinds of accidents. There are 
big ones, small ones, medium ones, critical ones, and some of them 
involve a lot of people and some of them involve a single person. 
Mistakes go hand in hand with accidents because for skn accident to 
happen obviously somebody made a mistake. For example car accidents, 
somebody had to have had made a mistake like running a red light, a 
stop sign or simply not paying attention. 

Beiog Free Aod Out 


1 1 

Being free means a lot when you locked down in your 
cell in jail. When I was on the outside it was a whole lot 
better then being in here, because I didn't have to take 
orders from all these staffs that keep coming in here 
almost every 2-3 hours to tell me an others when we can 
eat, take showers, go to the rooms and go to bed. 

Inside here it's like a different world when it comes 
to you not obeying what they say. If you look out of your 
room window after the staff done all ready told you not to, 
before you went in, you could get in trouble and end up 
staying in that room all day. 


From The Beat: Like you said yourself, if you was free you wouldn't 
have to take orders from all these staff. So keep that in mind next time 
you're even thinking about doing anything that might get you into any 
trouble. Is it really wrorth risking your freedom? The final decision is 
on you! 

Fast Life Mooey Hype" 

Fast life money hype pop all day pop all night 

We buy scraper to put them on 24's 

We rob houses to get dough 

We ruthless we don't care 

But look at us now we either dead or in here 

Sometimes I think I have no value of life 

But I got a bright future 

Instead I post on the block selling rocks 

And do what I want to 

I'm a violent lil' youngsta 

I'm only flfteen and ninjas want my head 

They want me dead 

Momma pray for me 'cause I'm gone pray for you 

My brother in m£ix and she don't know what to do 

But I'm gone keep my head up 

And when I get out I'm gone keep my bread up 

And go back to school and listen to my moms 'cause 

she the only person I got 

And watch my surroundings 'cause I'm not trying to get 


-Lir Damani 

From The Beat: You just said in your other piece in this issue, how you 
hate being locked up and how much you miss your mom, but then you 
go around talking about popping pills and living the fast life. You're 
sounding like a serious hypocrite right now. You don't ^NSknnsk get shot, 
but you ynsinnsk be out selling rocks. Is it that hard to make up your 
mind and do right? Leave your mama out of this. Because no matter 

L how much your mom misses you, you don't miss her at all especially if 

I you return to the grind. 

I I 


Wiiat Ootrages Yoo 

One of the things that gives me anger is, two years ago 
my brother died. He was not really my brother, he is my 
God brother. His name was Mikal and I met him when I 
was flve years old. Me and him was the same age when he 
died. No lie, he was my best friend, he was the only one I 
could talk to about anything and everything. 

Another thing that makes me mad is someone yells 
at me or in my face. When someone yells in my face or 
at me then my temper will start to boil and when it boil 
you better get back. But now I can somewhat control my 
anger by reading, writing or talking to my brother, but 
he's dead now. Rest In Peace. 


From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your brother passing away. 
You can always write down your feelings to The Beat, especially if it 
makes you feel better. You're a lucky dude to control your anger by 
reading and writing 'cause most people your age can't do that. Do you 
have skny advice for your peers on how to control your anger? 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mmsmM^mmim ^/// // 

An Accident 

An accident for me is when I got locked up. I don't know 
why, but the police decided that I matched the description. 
I was in all black clothing but I had on a dark blue peacoat 
and black jeans. 

When the police tried to stop me I ran, because I wasn't 
suppose to be in that county as part as my probation. So 
I ran jumped over a fence and unfortunately the fence 
broke, but I kept going. I jumped over a few more gates. 

I got about 5 or 6 blocks down when they finally 
caught me. They took me to the juvenile hall and I was 
there for a few weeks. 

I took my case to trial and I beat my case, but I was 
also being charged with resisting arrest and vandalism. 

A few weeks after that I was transferred to Alameda 
County, I was convicted of several other charges. Now I'm 
here waiting to get sent to camp. 


From The Beat: Now you must face the consequences of your actions. 
Don't run from Camp, do your program, it's easy now, so you can get out 
and not have to worry about the police stopping you anymore. Aren't 
you tired of being stucic in the system? 

lall life 


Just sitttin here, chillin. I am hella mad because the 
judge actin' up and ain't tryin' to give me no chances. I 
been to court like five times and he keep detaining me. 

This shh ain't coo', the food is nasty, the shower too 
hot, some of the staff is coo' but other staff is just plain 
scandalous, and they really don't care about you they are 
just trying to get paid. 

There really ain't no privacy in here when you get out 
the shower it's a big ass window, there ain't no privacy in 
this shhh, I hate it in here. One more thing there is some 
fools in here, they some suckas, they talk shhh behind 
their doors, but when you run up they ain't sayin' shhh, I 
can't wait to get out. 


LFrom The Beat: How can you %sk^ the judge is actin' up, when it is you 
that^ actin' up? Why do you suppose the judge is not giving you another 
chance? What are you going to do when you get out, given how much 
you disiiice the hail, what will you do so you do not return? 

Nnt In My Plans 

An accident that happened to me was getting locked up 
because this is a place I did not plan on coming to, at all. 
It was an accident hurting my mom's feelings because 
she hates seeing me in this place. 


From The Beat: We don't thinic that most of you actually plan on coming 
here. Sometimes you don't realize that you're doing something bad until 
you get in trouble for doing it. Learn from these mistakes. You'll have ■ 
your chance, but when you get the chance don't waste it. I 

RIP Bin And Carl 


I'm missin' y'all out here man, since y'all got killed my 
life has become wreck. It was like yesterday when we 
together chillin'. I miss you y'all, you and Carl. Two real 
goons gone. Come back to me man. But I know God got 
y'all in a better place and y'all watching over me. Boy I 
think about y'all everyday. I hope y'all shining in paradise 
with God, man I love y'all. I wanna say rest in peace Bin 
and Carl, come back to us. 

-Young Sani 

From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your friends? Why did they 
pass away? How can you keep their memory alive? We hear you say two 
goons gone, what do you mean by goon? How long do goons usually 

» I 

J L 



What outrages me is being in here and being behind 

these walls 

just having to be locked up in a cell. 

My mom is missing me and I'm missing her too. 

I pray for her. She prays for me and hopefully when I go 

back to court they let me go home so I can go to school 

and stay out of jail. 

I'm tired of putting my mom through all this. 

I'm going to be more careful who to hang out with 

'cause you can't trust 

I'm just gone keep it solid and get off probation and be a 


-Lil' Damani 

From The Beat: You should be outraged with yourself for doing whatever 
you did to bring you behind these walls. Part of being a kid is making 
mistakes, but also part of growing up is learning from your mistakes 
also. We're glad to hear you say that you're gonna go back to school. 
Education is important. You not only have to watch who you hang with 
but you also gotta be smart about what you're doing when you hang 
out. Take the rage and turn it into motivation to succeed. 

lakes! Fake Wtat? lake Wbe? 


Fake ninjas outrage me! A fake ninja to me is a ninja 
that don't have no reason to be in the street but he there 
anyway. The type of ninja who around to try and make a 

I name for himself. 
A real ninja can tell a fake ninja right off the back. 
Fake ninjas go around talking about what they did and 
who they did it to. A real ninja aint gotta boast about what 
he did. If it's worth knowing about, the streets already 

Fake ninjas get into it with people and go around 
talking shhh like I am going pop that ninja. 

If you get into it with a real ninja you ain't gonna 
know shhh until you on the ground with that lead burn 
on yo' ass. A real ninja ain't going say shh he going let his 
actions speak louder then any words. 


From The Beat: You know what, everybody runs their mouth about 
something. Just like you right now. You mouthing off about what^ fake 
and what's real. So would you consider yourself a fake or a real? Maybe 
you should stop tripping off all these supposedly fakes and worry about 
yourself. 'Cause all these fakes ain't gonna do nothing for you but get 
I you into trouble if you take the time of day to start tripping off them. ■ 

Ontragenns Place 

What's up Beat? This is Lil' J. 

Something that outrages me is being locked up in 
this place when I could have been out with my family or 
friends. Being locked up makes a brotha want to go crazy 
'cause they can't have as much freedom as they usually 

Kids end up in a place like this for being outraged. 
Then when they get out they don't think twice. 

I know y'all tired of being in this outrageous place 
'cause I am. 

Crime doesn't pay'cause when you get caught and 
locked up you get outraged. Y'all think it's unfair y'all 
got locked up. But it is fair 'cause you did something you 
wasn't supposed to do. 

When I get out I'm gonna think before I act 'cause I 
ain't trying to be in another outrageous place. 

-Lil J 

From The Beat: Something that outrages u% is all you people talking 
about how outraged you are being locked up behind these bars! Then 
why do the crime if you can't do the time! Was it worth it? At least you 
have realized that. We hope that next time you get out there enjoying 
your freedom you think about how bad it feels to be locked up before 
you do something to get you into trouble. 



/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mmsmM^mmim ^^^/^^ 

Getting Me Mad! 

What gets me angry is when people just start saying 
things behind my back. When people mess with me, like 
when they said you said something when you didn't say 
nothing. When people force you to do something that you 
don't want to. What I hate the most is when I don't get 
respect when I give them respect. 


From The Beat: That would get u% kind of mad too, if we give people 
respect and they don't give u% respect. But you can only do your part. 
Not everybody is sk% polite and humble sk% you. 

X f 


X I 

Accidents happen all the time. An accident is when 
you didn't mean to do something but you did it that's an 

I remember when I was playing for a football team and 
I ran a play but I ran to the wrong side of the field trying 
to run to the touchdown. That's one of my accidents. \ I 

-Farley \ I 

From The Beat: You're right accidents do happen all the time. Sometimes 
making a mistake might cause for sktt accident to happen. That's part of 
life though, you live and you learn. 

When I Was little 


One time I was eight I got hit by a car. 

It all started when I got in trouble at school and the 
teacher called my house. I was riding home on my bike 
hella mad and I wasn't paying attention. I rode through a 
crosswalk and out of nowhere a car came and hit me. I fell 
off my bike and hit my head hella hard on the street. 

It was a good thing my auntie made me wear my 
helmet 'cause my helmet cracked in two and that could 
have been my head. The ambulance came and took me 

I kept saying, "let me go!" I stayed in the hospital for 
a couple of hours and left. I was kind of glad it happened 
'cause I wasn't in trouble no more. After that, I started 
getting bad headaches and I went back to the hospital. 
The doctor gave me some pills to take at home and they 
went away in a month or two. 

-No mo' headache 

From The Beat: You're lucky that nothing seriously happened to you. 
Good thing you were wearing that helmet too, wow, you got your 
moneys worth on that helmet. Why did you leave your school that day? 
Did the teacher send you home? Why didn't your family pick you up if 
you were in trouble? 



Accidents happen, like in my case it's high speeding 
from the boys (police). I didn't want to, but the car was 
stolen and the person I was riding with had a warrant. So 
did I. So it was fo' sure wasn't gone be no stopping. 

All that happened all in one ride to and from the store. 
Only to get some snacks. If only my bro didn't have the 

We high speeded from Hayward to Union (City) on an 
empty tank. We was leaving they shhh, but to run out of 
gas. That wasn't the end until we ran into a local Walmart 
and they setup a perimeter and we was done. 

That's all I got for today. Aight then Beat. 


From The Beat: Why were you riding in a stolen car in the first place? 
Why did you have a warrant? Why do you feel like you need to steal 
cars? Why can't you get a job and %xyie money so you can buy your own 
car? That way you won't have to be worrying about running from the 

! I 

i I 


Mad, 'Cause My Friend Gone! 


My name is Luis and I had a friend in a car accident on 
Macarthur in Oakland. He was like my brother, but he 
was like more than a friend to me. 

When he was released from San Quentin, we had 
planned a fishing trip to Lake Berreysa. When he had got 
out I went to go talk to him I had went to the store with 
him and next day in the morning I had found out he had 
a car accident on Macarthur. I felt like socking everyone 
that was in my way. I socked my wall and I felt bad for my 
friend 'cause I just talked to him. I went to the funeral and 
I felt sad. 


From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your friend. We know that 
you're feeling angry because you never got to say goodbye and you've 
written about this before. You can't go around socking everything and 
everybody. This is good that you write about this. You are more than 
welcome to always write down whatever you need to get off your chest 
for The Beat. It will help you feel better. 

Ni Plice Like Hue 


When I get out of here I will change my life from my bad 
life to a good life. 

I will go to The Beat Within and get a job and help my 
mom with the house and help with the food in the house. 
But I will be going to school so I can get an education and 
go to college and make my mom happy. 

I will never be coming back here and clear my 

I will get my mind straight 'cause this is not where I 
want to be. This is nowhere a kid wants to be. 

-Lil' Day 

From The Beat: We're glad to hear you talk like that. You're more than 
welcome to come through The Beat Within and get a job. You sound 
very dedicated to trying to do the right thing. Stay focus and positive 
and positive things will come to you. It isn't easy but stay motivated 
and your hard ivork iwill pay off. 

Helpini Oil 


What gives me hope is when I know what's going on 
Also when I'm doing good stuff, or when I complete a job 
and when I help others. 


From The Beat: You have grown to be a very positive person. We're glad 
to hear you %xy you like to help others. There needs to be more people 
like you. How can you influence the people around you so they can help 

out others too? 

Outraoed By the System! 

Mp I 


What outrages me is staff, not all but some. Why? 
Because they think that they are the shhh, but they are 
nothing compare to me. But they're nothing like that on 
the streets. 

I hate when they lock us up for nothing. That shhh 
make me mad. Then I be hearing of hella dough, and that 
shhh makes me even madder. Then I can't do shhh about 
it but go to my room. When I go to sleep I forget about 
everything, but I know for sure if staff saw me on the 
outs they would say nothing. They would run for they 
life because they would be scared, and that makes me 

-Lil' Oba 

From The Beat: First of all, staff has a job to do, and you too have a 
job, to obey their rules. Why are you getting heated for nothing? If staff 
are acting like they're disrespectful, then let them be, or take matters 
into your own hands and write up a grievance. You're not gonna win. 
What goes around comes around. You don't have to go around trying 
to put anybody in their place. Just worry about yourself and trying to 
stay out of jail. Next time they make you mad go do some push ups, or 
something. Don't let them stress you out. 

agnnnnnE wmwmim 

^mmsmM^mmim ^/// // 

Fake Individuals Outrage Mel ~\i f 

What outrages me is when a fake person talks and acts 
like they do something that they really don't live. People 
play around, run they mouth, make it sound good to other 
people and some people believe them, but I can see a fake 
person. When it comes down to knowing the real, from 
the fake, that's the thing that outrage me. Fake people. 


From The Beat: Why are you tripping off faice people so much?! You iiice 
you're stressing off these individuals. Why don't you just ignore them 
and let them be. Anything you %«y or do ain't gone change the kind of 
person they are. So just worry about yourself and quit worrying about 
what kind of person the next man is. Worry about you. As long sk% you 
doing what you suppose to then you're gonna be good. i 

Makini Me Mad 


What outrages me is being here in juvenile hall. I hate 
coming to the hall every time for little violations. 

It makes me mad when my PO comes and arrests me 
in my own house. 

I have a couple days left in the hall and I'm gonna be 
good 'till then. 

Jail is not a fun place to be, but for the three weeks I 
been here I have gotten use to it. 

I am ready to go home to my family I miss them and 
they miss me. 

Every time I come to the hall it's hard for me because 
my PO comes out of nowhere and puts me in handcuffs. 

This is my last time in juvenile hall forever. I make 
this my final time. 


From The Beat: If we were you, we would do everything possible so your 
PO doesn't have a reason to lock you up again. Go to school and follow 
all the guidelines of your probation so your PO doesn't have a reason to 
lock you up. Good luck! 



I'm thinking about hope right about now. Hoping that I 
get out this Thursday on my court day. 

What's gives me hope is that I've been doing what I 
have been told. I have not got into any problems that I 
have brought on myself and wrong doing. I have thought 
it through, that I have to make a change in my life and 
follow my goals. Being in my cell made me have a clear 
thought of mind. And I need to be on the right track. 

One of my goals is to finish my last two years in high 
school and start looking for a job that can help me in 


From The Beat: if you're really dedicated and strive for your goals, the 
distance between you and your goals will become shorter and shorter 
with each step you make towards it. You will soon be released and 
face the temptation of the streets again. Don't let it distract you from 
accomplishing your goals. 


Outraoed By This Facility 

What outrages me is being locked up in this facility. 
Having to wake up when staff says so, eat when they feel 
like feeding me, bathe around other males my age, being 
told what to do and when to do it. It makes me want to 
hurt someone, sometimes. 

When I get released I refuse to come back here I would 
rather be dead. 


From The Beat: If you hate this facility so much, then why do you do 
things that will bring you here? What^ the plan to never come back? 
What kind of goals do you have? We hope you stop getting in trouble 
and get your shhh straight so you won't ever have to be locked up 

I I 


Forget 'Em 


What's up Beat this you boy Nacho, people always think 
they hard, but when you tell them to see you then they 
say they don't want to see you because they want to get 
out. To me they some marks because I will not back down 
fo' anything. They talk hella shh but wont do shh. 

-Nacho Cheese 

From The Beat: Maybe cause they realize that they don't ynsknnsk waste 
their time fighting and catching more time. Everybody %«y% things they 
don't mean. Like some of you be saying "I'm Never Coming Back!" But 
then they end up coming back! 

Hard To Make Me Mad 

ey , 
tut I 


It's hard for me to get mad. When I get mad it's a different 
story. It's a different story because I'll get so mad that I'll 
do something crazy, but good thing that it's so hard to 
make me mad. 

People be trying to get me mad but it don't work 
because its hard and people really don't know how to 
make me mad. That's the good thing. 

There are only three things that I hate about people. 
One of the things is I hate about people is when they be 
sad. The second thing is when people be talking shhh 
about the' self. The last thing is when they be getting 


From The Beat: Your nickname should have been jolly, 'cause you saying 
that you never get mad. How do you do that? There has to be people 
that get on your nerves or things that get you mad, how do you control 
your anger? 


What Give Me Hope 

I get hope when my family comes to visit me and tells 
me to keep my head up. And when someone preaches to 
me, and when I read a bible. Not thinking about what I 
did in the past and how I'm going to do right when I get 
out of jail. 


From The Beat: That's tight that your family comes to see you and 
support you through hard times. You don't need to forget about the 
past, you just need to learn from it. Move on and try to focus on doing 
what^ right so you can get out of the system and be successful. 


One thing that outrages me when someone say something 
behind my back and then I hear everybody talking about 
it but when I confront them they say I don't know what 
you're talking about. 


From The Beat: It is painful to find out that one of your so-called friends 
is talking bad about you behind your back. But there's always gonna 
be that he said she said b-s. Avoid these people and just go about your 
business. If they can't be real with you then ditch them. 

Family Gives Me Hope 


What gives me hope my mom, dad, sister, brother, 
grandma, grandpa, aunt, and uncle. All of them give me 
hope. When I'm feeling down they pick me right back up 
making me feel like somebody. 

Even my girl gives me hope. She never want me down, 
she always get me back up so I guess I'm trying to say is 
my family is the people that give me hope. 


From The Beat: That's great that you have your whole family and you 
have your girl friend's support. You should be really motivated 'cause a 
lot of people don't have that many people to support them. Don't waste 
your time in here when you can be out there spending time with your 
loved ones! 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mmsmM^mmim ^/^/^/ 


When I think about accidents I think about when I sliced 
my finger when I was nine years old. 

When I was nine I was playing with a pocketknife 
trying to cut a piece of wood off my dresser. When I was 
cutting it, my aunt came in the room and yelled, "what 
are you doing?" 

I got scared and flinched. When I flinched I dropped 
the knife directly on my finger and it sliced it deep, I got 
rushed to the hospital then got stitched up. 


From The Beat: Damn that must have hurt. Did you learn your lesson? 

X f 

i i i I i I i i 1 r 

t i i i i i t 1 1 r 

What's Up Beat 

Well Fm gonna talk about accidents. The accident 
remember I had was when I was with two of my cousins 
and two other friends. We were on our way to McDonalds. 
I was driving and then a car crashed into us but nothing 
really happened. The car got messed up but none of us 
got hurt. That's the worse accident I had in my life. Well 
Beat this vato is out alrato. 


From The Beat: Good thing you didn't get seriously hurt. You're kind 
of lucky that you had a lot of people were in your car and nobody got 
hurt. We know you have no license either. You would have got in deeper 

trouble too. 


Fed Up 

Man Fm so fed up with being in here, man it really sucks 
I want to go home and be with my family. I regret doing 
whatever I did wrong. I don't want to do wrong no more, if 
this is the consequence. 

I am fed up, I come here every couple of months. I 
ca'nt seem to be able stop doing wrong, I want to right, 
but it seems I just cant. 

-A Regulat 

From The Beat: Well what^ stopping you from doing right? What can 
you do to break out the bad habit of doing bad? We know you're tired 
of coming to jail. Where can you find the strength to resist all the 
temptations from the street? 

My Feelings 


Today I was in a good mood because tomorrow, on 
Wednesday, I go to court and I was excited because my 
dad said I was mostly likely going home. But my attorney 
told me that my PO didn't do an updated report. She's 
giving the judge the same report that she had in October 
so my attorney said he's going try to fight for me, but I 
might have to stay some extra days. That's why Fm about 
hecka mad.... 


From The Beat: We are sorry to hear that.. .maybe you can take these 
extra days to focus on what you are going to do when you get out, to 
make things better for yourself and your future? 

My Accidents 

An accident is when I picked the wrong friends. 
I was thinking the wrong things at the time. 
That was an accident. 
Now I know what to do so I won't make no more 


The real accident was when I came back to jail 

for a stupid reason. 


From The Beat: Accidents happen what can we %x^. But you made a 
mistake by making poor choices. It^ okay, just learn from your mistakes 
and make sure you don't repeat them. Be smart! 


Laughing At The Preachin' 


What's up Beat? Still up in this juvenile justice system 
having the laugh of my life. This shhh is hilarious. You 
got temptation looking ninjas up in here and it's just 

I funny to me 'cause after watching the temptation movie, 
I realized how funny this shhh is. Plus, this whack 
preacher lady. Lord forgive me, but I just couldn't take 
her preaching serious she almost had me crying with her 

I long ass ridiculous prayers. Piece. 
-Double L 

From The Beat: What was so funny about the preacher lady preaching? 
Do you ever get people that try to preach to you? What would make her 
I sermon better? How would you do it? 

What Gives You Hope 

What gives me hope is when I get around my squad and 
sometimes we just kick back and relax and talk about the 
things we did. Or we just smoke and drink and plot and 
plan on think to do to get money. 

What gives me hope is when I'm with my girl. 
Sometimes we might watch one of my favorite movies 
like Boyz In The Hood Scarface and a whole lot of other 
movies but I aint going to get into all of that. 


From The Beat: Nothing like kicking back with your boys or your girl 
huh? Maybe you should all kick back and watch movies more often so 
you can stay outta jail? 

Ifl The Hall For Belog Pregnaot 

The thing that really outrages me right now is that I'm 
in the hall for being pregnant. For a whole week I didn't 
go to school because this baby was causing so much pain 
and being sick I couldn't make it out the door. 

I don't understand why my PO didn't understand. I 
know she's been pregnant before and I know everyone's 
bodies are different. I know there were times she was 
sick and missed a lot of work. I know she knows that I 
hate school but once I found out, I raised my grades so 
she would get outta my hair. Then she does this to me. 

The hall is not for me not all and I'm never coming 
back because I'm a good ISyear old girl. Wednesday is 
takin' too long... I 

-Reola I 

From The Beat: We are very sorry that you have to be locked up while 
you are pregnant, and are glad that you are getting out soon. When you 
are out, what steps can you take to make sure this doesn't happen again? 
Is there a teacher/doctor/nurse who can support you and advocate for 
you, to make sure you and your baby are getting all necessary help? 

ly I 

Crazy Love 

I love you so much, but I really don't know why 
sometimes. You got me strung from day one, next thing 
you know I'm tryin' to get me some. I think about you so 
much it drives me crazy, I don't have anything else on 
my mind to think about. I think that my mistake was 
meeting you because it caused me pain. 

My love for you is unconditional baby, you ain't got 
to ever worry 'cause I'm always going to be here for you 
under any circumstances or situation. You can count on 
me to love you. 


From The Beat: Stanley, your piece raises a lot of questions for us and 
makes u% worry about you. Question 01 : while you sit here in jail, is 
this person really the only thing you have to thinic about? What about 
yourself, and your future? Your freedom? And question 02: do you really 
want to offer unconditional love to this person? If he/she's cruel to you, 
if he/she hurts you or your family, would you really love him/her this 
much, just the same? 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mmsmM^mmim '^^^^i 

Abuse of Power 

Something that outrages me is when President Bush is 
running things the way he likes it, and doesn't listen to 
what the people in the United States want to happen. 

Something else that outrages me is when the staff in 
here abuses their power and think they're God himself 
and get bold because they know that their word will 
always overrule ours, just because we are the ones in the 
Alameda County attire. Not all staff is like this. Most 
staff is cool and don't abuse their power because they 
realize that they're just like us, but they just didn't make 
any mistakes to get them into a situation like this. 

We're all human, no one's better than anybody else 
except God himself. 


From The Beat: It shows real maturity that you can see the way abuse 
of power varies on a case by case basis. The best thing for you, of 
course, is to get out jail sk% soon sk% possible so you aren't at the mercy 
of another person, or the system. 



I hate being in here. I wish I was with my family and 
with my girl. I am here for a stupid reason that has no 
meaning. I miss my mom's cooking and my house. I 
miss the freedom of being outside. 

-Missing it all 

From The Beat: We hope you get that freedom soon - and that you 
manage to stay close to your mom^ cooking, where you belong! 



Too Years.... 


In ten years I see myself living with my girl in a nice 
neighborhood, in a two story house with three bedrooms, 
two and a half baths, a big back yard, three kids, and two 

Hopefully I'll be a professional boxer, or a high school 
teacher. Either one is fine with me. I want to be able to do 
anything and give my family everything. 

What would get in the way of my dreams? I think 
myself would get in the way of dreams. don't What would 
get in the way of my dreams? I think that I myself would. 
I don't live in a bad neighborhood anymore. I don't 
hang out with that many people that influence me to do 
negative things. I go to school every day, and mind my 
own business. It's just that stubbornness I guess. I just 
can't help it. But I'll overcome this and accomplish my 
goal straight up. 

-Lazy the Kid 

From The Beat: It's common for people to get in the way of their own 
dreams because of stubbornness or fear or a million other things. It 
seems like you have some very specific dreams and that you're driven 
to accomplish them. That's the most important thing in reaching your 
goals - being determined. Just hold on to that determination, that 
dream, and you won't get in your own ivay. 

Man when I'm down in out or feel like I'm losing hope I 

turn to my baby mama! I can go to her for anything don't \ I 

matter what I'm going through. I 

Lately I haven't been losing any hope or stressing. 
But back when I flrst went to jail I was real depressed i 

thinking about that I got a son on the way and I might I I 
miss him being born. 

Now that I found out I'm getting out in March that 
gives me hope! 

- Me Too 

From The Beat: That's good that you have your baby mama to support 
you and help you get through your time in jail. We hope that you do get 
out when you %ay you might. When you get out handle your business 
and don't come back so you won't miss out on watching your son grow. 


What Gives You Hope 


What gives me hope 

Thinking about Rita and dropping the soap 

Never crossing that line or that rope 

In bossy juvenile hall I have to cope 

Walk around and mope 

I feel like I need to smoke. Not no drug, just a pote 

Writin' in The Beat to promote 

Not selling no coke, some think I'm lyin' like it's a joke 

But for real don't try to provoke in here females push 

buttons like a remote 


From The Beat: Jocelyn, this is a great start to a poem, we wish you 
could have written more! Our curiousity is peaked now.. .but we still 
don't know exactly why Rita gives you hope... 




Coming here was a mistake. I know I committed a crime 
and and I'm tryin' do this time but that's what happens 
when you do crimes. You can say, "I accidently got caught." 
It was bound to happen after I saw the 5-0. People were 
snitchin' before we got caught. It was a mistake being 
with them. Man, it was a mistake, one I gotta deal with, 
as anybody could see. I'm tryin' to get a release so pray 
for me 

-Coco Mami 

From The Beat: It's hard to tell from your piece: do you think it was a 
mistake doing the crime in the first place? People often blame snitches, 
but there would be nothing to snitch about if you were obeying the law 
in the first place. We do pray you get released, but we hope you will 

think tiAfice the next time. 

Sti) Strug 


I been through some thangs hoping my ninjas stay the 
same but they always change. 

I'm keeping it solid. I'm still holding it down. Man 
people tell me let go and I look them in the eyes and tell 
them straight up I'm with my crew until the end. But it 
ain't the same without Turk. I got to let you know, ain't 
too many real ninjas like you bra. 

-Lil' T 

From The Beat: There^ got to be a way to "hold it down" without holding 
yourself down sk% well. You've already %een how much suffering this life 
csku%e% - isn't it time to make a change, for yourself and for your loved 

Siiiii) Happeos 


People die every day 
while moms and dads sit home and pray 

shhh happens. 

When your family plan and hope the best, 

you on the block tighten up your vest 

— just in case shhh happens. 

With your hammer cocked back and mind in a blur 

you don't think about the problems you gonna stir, 

shhh happens. 

People judge you and think the worst, 

but the decisions you make you could end up in a 


'cause shhh happens. 

My mom always tells me that I live life too fast, 

but I live each day like it's my last - shhh happens. 

-Young Doughboy 

From The Beat: The thing is that if you really take control of your life, 
you don't just let things happen to you, you make shhh happen. It^ the 
only way... don't let your future happen to you. Make skn active plan, 
what do you want? What can you do to keep your mind clear and not 
in a blur? Do you want to control your own life? Or let someone else 
control it? 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mmsmM^mmim '^^^^^ 

Free Me Fast 


Free me fast, 

How long this about to last? 

When I think about the past, it looks like pieces of 

shattered glass 

Looking to the future, wondering when this time will 

Man, I am sick of being here so free me fast! 

-Sexy and Sophisticated 

From The Beat: What else are you thinking about in terms of your 
future? What^ the plan for when you get out? You are intelligent and 
energetic — ^you could do so much! The question is what you want to 
build with that shattered glass all around you... 



To be quite honest not a lot of things give me hope in 
here, but there are a couple of things that do. 

One of them is when God Squad comes and enlightens 
us on the Bible, talks to us about Jesus and tells me j 
things I really didn't know. 

Also, when Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday 
mornings come it also gives me hope because I know I 
get to see my parents later on in the day. 


From The Beat: Can you think of anything else that brings you optimism? 
It's important to hold on to those things that do give you hope. Keep 
them close to you because hope is what brings happiness, even if \t'% the 
smallest thing in your daily life to look forward to. 

Bull Really Hope... 

I hope I will be a better person, 

I hope my mother will stop crying. 

I hope I will die old 

I hope I will meet my dead cousin one day. 

I hope for a lot of things but I really hope for me to get 

out of the system. 

-Lil' Chuy 

From The Beat: It's not about becoming a better person, but becoming 
the good person that you really are, deep down inside. How will you 
do that? And how will you get out of the system for real, by staying 
mentally free once you are released? 

Love Will Cooie Yoor Way 

To the people who didn't have someone to hold on to 
on the Love Day February fourteenth, I have something 
to say to yo' hearts. So I want all ears open, hearts open, 
and love in your life. 

Smile for I am here to say love will come your way. 

The Love you have in yo' heart, don't never let it go, 
because there's people around the world that thinks 
about you while you're gone. If you don't believe me, wait 
till you go home. Every time you give up you lose all yo' 

But I'm here 'till life goes on. 

The love you have in yo' heart, don't let it go, because 
if you feel alone, don't 'cause it's all over the world. You 
should always remember that love is in your soul. So you 
don't need nobody, just to let it show. 
So don't you ever forget to never let the love go, 'cause 
if you believe in love it's in yo' soul. And if you believe 
you're in love, your Valentine is at home. 

So smile and never let the love in your heart go. 

-Love itis 

From The Beat: These are heartwarming and inspiring words, particularly 
for people ivho might be missing someone at home, and looking for that 
love. We hope others feel what you're saying, and mostly we hope you 
feel it too. 



! I 




What gives you hope? My mom gives me hope because 
she is the only one in my life. She makes me feel good 
when I am in a bad spot. 

There is one more person that give me hope is God 
because times like right now, I just read the bible to get 
this off of my mind. 

I hope that when I go to court on the 21st of Feb and 
the 29th, I expect the best outcome. I hope the guy don't 
come to court. I just pray to God I miss my mom so much 
and all my brothers too. I can't stop thinking about them. 
They is on my mind all the time. 


From The Beat: You're a smart dude, you shouldn't be wasting your time 
in the halls. You have a family that cares about you and misses you a I 
lot. Why are you on them streets getting in trouble? Think about it's not I 
worth it. You could have been ivith your brothers and your mom right 
now. When you get out, think about your brothers and mother, before 
you decide to get in trouble. 

A Video Game With Consequeoces ^\ 

Man getting money is hella fun, but it's like a video 

It's a game you could quit but at the same time its 
consequences behind it. Man the game is outrageous 
'cause hella ninjas getting' knocked down. But me thank 
God I made it to sixteen ...'cause my potna Davon did not 
even make it. But at the same time he was only able to 
make it to fourteen. That was my ninja, straight up, but 
he still here and my blood but I will still thug. 

-Lil' T 

From The Beat: You put it exactly right - it feels like a videogame, 
except for that horrible part about where the rush leads to irreversible 
pain and damage... like what happened to Davon. Yet you still say that 
you're not going to give up the game? What would you do if you could I 
do something else? I 

still lere 


What's up Beat! Well this is Tweety. Yes, I'm still here. 
I'm hecka happy because I should be out tomorrow, 
you feel me? I can't wait I finally get to see my brother. 
I haven't seen anybody but its good 'cause it this ain't 
gonna happen again. 

I've been in here for two months. I was in here for New 
Years, and I ain't trying to be in here anymore. There are 
too many females. I'm going crazy 'cause they be tryin' 
to do too much. 

Well, anyway Beat, I got to go, my time is up. 

-Lady Dimples 

From the Beat: We want to believe that this isn't going to happen again, 
but what will you do on the outside to MAKE SURE you don't locked up 
again? What% the plan? 

My Accident 

What's good with The Beat and all y'all on lockdown? 
This is Tete comin' from this unit. Let me tell y'all about 
my accident. One day, I'm in my room lookin' for my 
lighter, and I couldn't find it. I was on probation so my 
mama didn't want me smoking. So when I walked in 
her room I saw ma mama sparking her cigarette with my 
lighter. And right off the back I say "that's my lighter!" 
and she just looked at me like I was crazy, so I say "I'm 
just playing." 


From The Beat: Is smoking something you miss iwhile locked up? Do 
you think being in here without cigarettes will inspire you to quit once 
you get out? 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mmmm^mmim ^/^/^/ 

Which Way Will I Go? Honestly I Don't Know 

1. Crime 

I pledge allegiance to crime family and all its rebellious 

intentions and beliefs 

I will never choose a woman over any affiliates. 

I will spend my time collecting money and saving the 

money I receive. 

I will not cooperate with any representative of the US 

government trying to enforce there rules upon me. 

I will not bow down to anyone or thing at tempting to 

control me. 

I will seek knowledge. 

I will not hesitate to open fire on a government 

representative to keep my freedom. 

I will not rape any woman nor man. 

I will not hesitate to kill. 

I do understand this life I lead may have me imprisoned 

or murdered. 

I do understand that this makes me a militant soldier with 

a cause to uplift or family and friends out of oppression 

from the government bad seeds that get paid from our 


I pledge allegiance to the life of crime and not listening to 

the government. 

The main thing of all is to get money and not spend but 

save it. 

We will rise above poverty and go to war with law 

enforcement if it calls for it. Everything from bombs, 

cocktails, and guns everything including biological 


2. Good 

I pledge allegiance to a progressive future and one day to 

leave America. 

I shall not participate in any violent acts but just to 

progress mentally, physically, and spiritually. 

I will pursue all positive goals and help my African 

American race rise above oppression & poverty. 

I will comply with reasonable law enforcement requests 

so I can contribute to a positive environment. 

I will build a team of well-educated friends so we can start 

a revolution. 

I will get money. 

-Lil' Young 

From The Beat: You put it perfectly here.. .and the future is yours. Will 
you throw your life and freedom away in a futile attempt to rebel against 
the police and the law; be a rebel? Or will you achieve greatness, change 
the system and lift both yourself and your people up in the tradition of 
the heroes and revolutionaries? The choice is before you. ..we hope you 
pick the one worthy of your heart and your passion. 

FoGlIno Down 

When Fm not feeling life, when I'm feeling mad, depressed 
etc... the thing I turn to is drank. Every time I'm feeling 
that way I just walk to the store and get me some drank, 
and I like being alone too. I turn to drank 'cause it just 
makes me forget about everything that I'm thinking of. 
Sometime it relcixes me, but most of the time it gets me 
angrier than what I was, and when I drank I be posting 
on my block, so most of the time I end up running into 
somebody I don't like. So I end up doing what I got to do. 
So when I get out I'm gonna find something positive 
to turn to in times like that, and make a couple changes. 


From The Beat: You said it yourself. We're glad you realized that 
drinking when your mad, angry, or depressed doesn't do anything, it 
might temporarily get rid of your problem but it ain't the solution to it. 
When you get sober your problems will still be there. ^Ne'te proud to see 
that you have realized that turning to drank is only gonna bring you 
more problems. 

i I 

Do Yoo Feel 111(0 Guns Mako You Safor Or Loss Safo? 


In my part of Oakland, you really do need a gun,' cause 
people be tryin' to come through "gassin." 

But they already know we knocking shhh down, so 
they try to catch us slippin'. But I don't even be slippin'. 
That's why I'm up in here,' 'cause I keep my thang on me 
any time of the day or night. So to answer your question, 
hell yeah, guns make me feel safe. 

-Lil' T 

From The Beat: Let's put the question another way, if you weren't tryin' 
to "knock shhh doivn," if you were living a life that vtsk% not criminally 
minded, would you still need the guns? Because yeah you say you don't 
get caught slipping, but you've already buried enough loved ones to 
know that a gun can send a bullet, but a gun can't catch one. Wake 

To My Father Who Was Never There 

A survivor at Alameda County Juvenile Hall at night, I 
would sit in my room and wonder when you would come 
rescue me. When you would realize I wasn't there. 

I just had my daughter on Dec, 29. 2007. She'll always 
have me. I'll give her the life I never had. Even when she 
said I'll be like her dad I don't want her to grow up like me 
going around screwing up and shhh. I also don't want her 
to make decisions I made. 

Right now she's at her mom's house. But when I get 
out she'll have everything. I gave my credit card to my 
girl so she cold spoil my daughter. I get the receipt in the 
mail so I know what goes on. She can have anything she 
wants. I'll always be home when she needs me. 

To my baby daughter I love you Tamika, born December 
29 2007 at 4:29pm. 

-Lir Momo 

From The Beat: Congratulations! We hope that you enjoy every minute 
that you can with your daughter. You can't really spoil your daughter 
from jail because she needs your presence in her life. Your presence in 
her life is something you can't put a price on. it's priceless. She doesn't 
want all those materialistic gifts. She wants the gift of your love. So 
stop getting caught up so you can be there for her. By the way, make 
sure you can pay off that credit card. Don't be careless. 


Beat Iflterviow With Smokey 

TBW: how much time you have left? 

Smoke: 3 and a half months left. 

TBW: Then what? 

Smokey: Adult school for a GED, then a junior or 

community college to get certified as a mechanic. 

TBW: Solid plans, where will you live? 

Smokey: Redwood City. 

TBW: With Your Family? 

Smokey: My moms, step pops and four brothers. 

TBW: What do they think of your plan? 

Smokey: They're pretty happy and excited at the same 


TBW: How old are your brothers? 

Smokey: The ones I'll be living with are two years, twelve, 

thirteen and sixteen. 

TBW: Any Final words? 

Smokey: Yeah as a matter of fact I do: To all incarcerated, 

keep your head up, the game is short but life is long. Live 

it to the fullest... be aware of your surroundings, be all 

you can be. Know you're not alone. And to Mousie -- que 

tu mama se sienta bien. God will always be with her, and 

so will my prayers. 


From The Beat: We feel like we Icnoiw you better, and Icnoiv more about 
what^ at stake for you. You have a real future ahead of you, and people 
who love you and depend on you waiting for you to get that freedom 
and keep it. The challenge is not getting caught up in the varrio! Good 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mmsmM^mmim ^^^/^^ 

So Saucy So Sweet 

^' f 

Look at me you see a little ninja that's kind and sweet. 
When females look at me they say that lil' ninja so 

saucy so sweet 

When ninjas look at me they be like that lil' ninja so 

saucy and totes his heat 

I'm on my new phase were ninjas don't phase me 

If you call and ask me were I'm at I'm at the tell with 

you' lady 

Ain't scared to make her my baby 

Now she on my team and --we getting paid. 

- Mo Mo 

From The Beat: If you ARE saucy, and if you ARE sweet, you would 
never even think to speak on putting a girl on your "team"... because 
you'd be full of the respect that a young woman deserves. 



Loving you got me confused in all kinds of ways, 

Yes I'm happy when I'm around you 

And sad when I'm with out you 

But one thing that I'm confused on is do you feel the 

same way? I'm so confused, 

Do me saying I love you scare you? 

Does it affect the way you look at me. 

Yeah, so confused I am 

Yeah things would be different if I could read yo' mind ... 


-Lady Precious 

From The Beat: Love is one of the most confusing things in the world. 
The good kind brings you up, the bad kind can bring you down, knowing 
the difference can take a lifetime to learn... so what do you think, is this 
a good love for you or a bad one? 


Most of the time when I feel depressed or hopeless either 
the church come Sunday and bring me some motivation 
or when my auntie come she always help me get by. When 
she came, she gave me hope. How she gives me hope, 
because of her words and the way she does things. Her 
character motivates me. 


From The Beat: That^ pretty cool that you have your auntie come see 
you and inspire you. She sounds like a great person by the way you talk 
about her. That's good that you get motivated by church too. T>y to stay 
in high spirits even without the church on Sunday. Any day can be a 
Sunday. It^ up to you to make it like that. 

Alnt No Secret 

I've done a lot of bad things that I can't say was an 


Robbed a few people so my clothes can be immaculate 

Did shhh that you couldn't even imagine 

Posted on the block strapped with my pants saggin' 

I'm spittin' game and I ain't braggin' 

Seen situations turn tragic 

Potnas there and then they gone like magic 

Addicted to funk like a habit 

Money in my sight and I gets to grab it 

OG's told me since I was a youngsta to be a savage 

Stay focused on my grind because I'm about cabbage 

And ain't nobody gone stop me because I gotta live 


-Big Wayne 

From The Beat: You can't go around robbing people for a living homie. 
That's a for sure shot to the pen, but then again if that's where you 
vtsknnsk go then do your thang. There^ other ways to shine without 
having to rob people for the materialistic things they worked so hard 
for. You can get a job, or find legit ways to hustle. But taking other 
people's property ain't coo', man. 

Can't Be Too Hopefol 


What gives me hope... things that give me hope, is 
myself. When I feel things are getting bad, I try and push 
myself for better days. 

Like right now I'm in a bad spot. So I do push ups, 
pray, & write or read to get the bad thoughts out of my 
mind. Because when I get out I'm going to have a lot of 
hope. But I already know I can't have too much hope, 
because if you get your hopes up the things your hoping 
for might go bad and you will get mad. 

My hopes right now are to get out soon. Go to school 
& get ready for college. So I can get ready for the adult 


From The Beat: All you can do is hope. But you can't give your hopes up. 
Especially off shh you can't control, but the things that you can control 
you have to stay focused. You ynsknnsk get ready for the adult world you 
gotta be motivated and determined to succeed. You ynsknttsk go to college 
then do it. Don't let anything stand in your way. 

M) lole Midel 

\ I 

My role model is my uncle Trell, because he is a solid 
ninja and he depends on no one. And he's always there for 
me through thick and thin even though I stole from him 
and he forgave me. That made me respect him even more. 
And if I was to lose him I would have to gas somebody to 
revenge his death and this is why he's my role model. 

-Lil' D-Nice 

From The Beat: Damn your uncle is a special dude to forgive you after 
you stole from him. We're glad you have role model in your life. Does he 
give you advice? Does he try to tell you to stay out of trouble? 

I giv 


Unbigitt, Inbissel 


You say no, I say yes, 

don't tell me what to do. 

Don't tell me how to act. 

Don't tell me to wear my left shoe on my right foot. 

If I do I'm being me. 

Don't have no deal for some feels. 

Say you care. What's real. 

I'm not a fancy car to ride around and show off. . . 

Nope you can't buy me 

Tell me what to do. Nope you can't boss me. 

-Shany Boe 

From The Beat: This reads like a personal Declaration of Independence, 
shouted out with real pride and confidence. Stick to your words and 
the voice inside you that knows who you are, and that voice will steer 
you straight! 

I ■ I 

What Gives Me Hope 

I I 


The Lord gives me hope because He gave me everything 
I asked for in His name. Let me tell you how. When I was 
on the outs I had no job or nothing, and I asked the Lord 
to help me in my life, to give me strength, good since, 
wisdom, etc. and He did and He helped me. When I put my 
life in His hands first I'm in here and I got all the things I 
asked for by reading the bible. 

Next I'm going to ROP and I'm going to get my GED 
and play pro Basketball. And when I get out I got a job 
waiting for me and then I'm going to get an apartment and 
line my life. Thank God. 

-Lir Militant 

From The Beat: We're glad that the Lord has inspired and motivated you 
to do the right thing. We hope that you don't lose focus and stay on the 
right path. Don't ever forget about your time here. We hope you learned 
your lesson and this time that you spent here helped you realize that 
freedom is not to be taken for granted. 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mmsmM^mmim ////^/ 

You Ever Feel All Alone? 


For a short period of time you never had a home? 

You ever lost a close homie? 

You ever realized that something wasn't worth it? 

Well if you haven't, I have. 

-Lir Mousie 

From The Beat: This could be the beginning of one of your most powerful 
poems yet... we're ready for it! 

I t i i i I 


What Gives You Hope 

Being locked up in here, God is my only hope and 
trust him with all my heart because I have that type of 
relationship with Him and when I ask Him anything it's 
always answered. 

When I'm on the outs and I'm feeling down or I'm 
confused, I just turn to my box of Newports and a bottle of 
Privilege and come to the understanding that everything 
is going to be alright, you dig? 


From The Beat: Thanks for being honest with u%. So we have to aslc- 
-lAfhich do you find more helpful in times of need — looking to God, or 
getting drunk? And what would it take to help keep you sober and 
spiritually connected when you are on the outside? 

Accidental Lock Up 


I have had an accident when I got locked up. I should 
have just went into the back yard and hit the fence, 
went through the apartments and got ghost and finished 
getting hella drunk. 


From The Beat: What you should have done is not of gotten in trouble 
in the first place. Then you wouldn't be here writing about I could've 
should've, would've. 

Is There A Lady 

Is there a lady in the world that is just right for me 

If there is I'm looking for her where could she be 

I need a young lady not a little girl 

I'm a king as you already know 

So many writings I could make it snow with paper 

I need a lady in my life this subject is major 

I need one that is light bright 

Not too white 

Just my type 

That's the kind I like. 

-Young Mari 

From The Beat: There's a lady for you out there you must search hard 
and be careful who you choose. But first you can't be looking for a lady 
while you locked up. You need to stay out of trouble. And once you find 
her you must stay out of trouble so you won't lose her. 

What Ootraoes Me 

What outrages me is all the killing going on in Oakland. 
It outrages me because I don't want to hear one of my 
family members getting killed. 

What can make it better is if all the weapons gets put 
down and all the hatred disappears. I think it's too intense 
for people to stop. Sometimes it threatens because I 
had guns pull out on me a couple of times. It makes me 
outrage thinking about it. 


From The Beat: A lot of people skte outraged by all the %en%e\e%% killings. 
Why are there so much %en%e\e%% killings going on? There are a lot 
of people outraged by this but what can you do about it? How can 
you gather all the members in your community together and stop the 
violence? There are too many guns out on the streets. Stay out the 
streets because they're not safe. 


Shark Accldeot 


I remember an accident when I was a young teen. I was 
fishing in a river over in some construction spot with a 
lake when we caught a fish. Well that's what I thought it 
was, but it was a tiger shark. It looked up at me then dived 
back into the water and tried to come back and snatch my 
pit bull off the rock. My dog ran. That was a traumatizing 
accident. After that accident I haven't went fishing no 
more in any area that wasn't high over ground that shhh 
won't happen again. Imagine if I was off that syrup! 

-Scared Shhhless 

From The Beat: Damn the tiger shark almost ate your dog?! That's crazy! 
Damn, we're glad nothing happened to your dog. At least you learned I 
your lesson without having your dog get eaten. I 


My Faoillir Gives Me Hope 

I would say family because they have always looked out 
for me. Somehow I feel like I gotta show 'em I could do 
good for myself. 

My lil baby girl gives me the hope I need to get by. I 
wouldn't care if she wasn't there! 

My mom's is solid. She's been there for me through 
the thick and thin. So my hope comes from my family and 
I hope for the best. 


From The Beat: We hope the best for you. We can only hope that you 
mature and make better decisions for yourself. You can be motivated by 
your little girl, or your parents, but you gotta feel it in your heart to 
want to succeed for yourself. Good luck! 

Almost Dot! 

What's good Beat this your boy Turk. I'm out for real in 
like two weeks. So to all real ninjas that do real thangs 
on the outs, stay strong. Bad times don't last forever but 
real ninjas do. 


From The Beat: We hope that you're doing things safe out there, 'cause 
the streets are taking lives for no particular reason. Stay out of trouble. 
I We don't yMSkttnsk see you back on more serious charges. 

We're Fitted 

What's good Beat? First, I met this broad at a house, then 
at a block party, she had on a fit designed by Ed Hardey 
and I had on this fit designed by LRG. I also had on some 
kicks designed by 23. Lil' mama told me every time she 
see me I'm fitted. I said you too. I had to admit it. 


From The Beat: That's cool that you met some girl that likes to be 
fitted just like you. You had to admit that she was looking fly. But you 
probably aint looking to fly in them county clothes right now. But if 
you stay outta trouble you could be fitted all day checking out all the 
fitted girls. 

|~ My Accident 

■ Well for me an accident is when I fell down and couldn't 
get up from the falling. And I was hurt to try to stand to 
go on and be myself. To do good again by going to school 
and getting a job so I can stay out of trouble. 

How things hurt me is when people make me 
disappointed at them to the point it makes me want to do 


From The Beat: Anything is possible if you really put your mind to it. We 
know you don't like being locked up wearing the next man^ draws. Do 
what ever you feel you need to do to stay out of trouble. Go to school 
and get stn education. Get a job so you can earn some legit money. All 
your hard work will eventually pay off. 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mmsmM^mmim ^^^/^^ 

What Enrages Me/Stress 


The most thing that enrages me the most is being lied 
to so much for the most simplest shhh, like sayin' they 
want to do something but never comin' through, givin' a 
bunch of excuses but being in here gives me too much 
time to think about all the stuff going on, and it's very 
stressful's got me going through to much all alone 
and the way. 

I feel right now I could care less if I flew off a cliff 
nothing in life to see, cause I'm gonna stay mobbin'. 

-Lil' Soild 

From The Beat: There is so much you still haven't %een - the mountains, 
the Mediterranean %esk, where the water is so blue it makes the sky 
look gray, the streets of New York city, where the buildings are so 
high it makes that same sky just look like a bunch of blue band aids. 
You haven't %een the view of a crowd from up on a stage when you're 
graduating to get your diploma. You haven't %een the look on a boy's 
face when he says "daddy" to you for the first time. There is too much 
to live for... man up and reach for it! 

Who Gives Me Hope? 


When I'm feeling down or depressed my mom gives me 
hope. I always go to my mom because she makes me feel 
special all the time. If my feelings are hurt I talk to my mom 
and she makes me smile. I love my mom more than anything 
in the world. So my mom gives me hope. 

Or if not my granny gives me hope. I love her so much 
too. These are the women of my life and they give me hope. 
My mom is the only person I feel comfortable telling my 
feelings to. 

From The Beat: What kinds of advice and words of wisdom does she give 
you? What is the most valuable lesson she ever taught you? Are there 
certain things you remember in here that help you keep going? 

Hope Somethiog 

Hope something, hope is good. 

I hope I get out of jail. 

I hope I make it to the NBA or the NFL. 

I hope I have a wife and two kids. 

Hope, people think if they got hope they got everything 

they want. 

If people just hope and don't follow their hope what's the 

point of hoping. 


From The Beat: You bring up skn interesting point. We can all sit around 
hoping this and hoping that. But if you have dreams you can't just 
hope that they come to you. You have to go chase them. Goals aren't 
accomplished just by hoping, they are accomplished by being determined 

and relentless. 

Rest In Peace Tenika 


Behind these walls I don't know what I'm feeling, 

Jan. 21 '08 I lost my love 

This is going to be a big healing. 

Why was it left in my hands to do. 

Now I'm sorry and I can't stop missing you. 

I love you forever and nothing will change, 

I sit in this cell and wonder how my life will never be the same. 

Everyday and night I couldn't stop the cries. 

Still this day you can see the pain in my eyes. 

I have to be strong and be a man. 

Knowing that every thing that happened was part of 

God's plan. 

Tenika, I'm gonna mourn you 'till I join you. 


From The Beat: Like you say, this is going to be a "big healing" but with 
time you may find that the pain gets less, and also that you find ways 
to help others heal when they experience tragedies like this. Does 
thinking about the people ivho love you give you hope? 


I Get Stronger 


Lately I've been sayin' forget the world 

But it seems the world forgot me 

While I'm locked up 

Life goes on 

Am I wrong? 

But I'ma stay strong for now 

Cause daddy always said he made 

Me a soulja 

So as days go on 

And nights get colda 

I get stronger 


From The Beat: Life can go inside too, if you use this time to grow 
mentally - learn whatever they have in school, read books, make a plan 
for your future. The thing about being a soulja is that you can't be 
a good one unless you know what you're fighting for. What are you 
fighting for? 


Stress Reliever 

I'm a young stunner. But I don't pop pills 

Might flick around and get killed. But I do got 

Skills. You make me mad and I ain't gon' feel ashamed 

if I touched your brain. 

a lot of people know me as a very 

Nice person but when I get angry I end up cussing. 

When I posted on the block I had a mini . . . 
Boy that hit your block. Open up shop free my mind 

A stress reliever me on the grind. 

The elements of surprises might take people's lives 

Or even catch you in a lie, or save you from a drive. 

Think about your decisions because you might regret 

Your action after clappin'. Murder 1 or maybe 2. 

The DA screwed me but then they saved me. 

One day somebody told me they shot into a crowd of 


Because they were getting eggs threw at them to me 

that's sounds stupid. 

I could see in his eyes that he was really sorry for what 


Me, I have no more remorse... if you pissed me off then 

that's your fault. 

-Lil' B 

From The Beat: No more remorse you say, if that's true, it means your 
heart isn't sk% strong sk% it needs to be. No remorse means not caring - 
about who you hurt, what you do to your own life and future, but then 
a couple lines up you say that people know you sk% a "very nice person." 
It seems like you're stuck - caught between the person the streets want 
you to be, and the person your close loved ones still know you to be. 
Which side of you will win this conflict? 

My Family and My Anger 

The thing that give me hope my pride and my family. 
When I'm out I usually go to my mother and talk to her 
about my problems and things that I need help with. 

Or when I get frustrated I just go get in my car and sip 
on some bow, and fire up some dro' and get on the road. 
Most of the time it's me and my friends but when I'm mad 
I'm usually by myself. Because when I'm a mad man I'm 
a dangerous man and I don't be thinking nothing good or 
positive at all. I be off bo' and dro', that calms my nerves 
when I'm tensed or mad. 

-Baby T 

From The Beat: When the pain gets too much, it^ easy to want to turn to 
drugs or drink, because they dull the pain calm you down, or juice you 
up... the problem is that they can also destroy you, either by making 
you do criminal things that get you caught up, or by just distracting 
you from your mission - which is to finish school, get a good job, get 
somewhere safe, make your family proud. Isn't there another way to 
fight the frustration besides getting loaded? 


staff Nit leelin' M) lats 

^' f 

I've been up here at the Ranch fo' nine months, going on 
ten months, but, anyways, I've been up here at the Ranch 
on some square shhh, 'cause the staff be on me, 'cause I 
got a couple of tats, but I still be bangin' . I'm gettin' out 
in three and a half months, so I ain't trippin'. Damn, it's 
already been a year since I been out. Much love. 


From The Beat: Okay, you have some tattoos, but, like, they're already 
there, so why is anybody tripping? Is the real issue for the Ranch staff 
that they're afraid you're planning to go right back to your block when 
you're free, and that you'll either threaten your enemies, like you state, 
or worse, or that you'll die out there? How realistic are their fears? 


I would say getting locked up is a accident because I 
believe I am a better than this and so do other people. 
But I'm in here, so I'ma deal with it. And if you wanted 
to know, this is an accident and mistake me being up in 
this foul place. 

-Gucci Mane 

From The Beat: How is it an accident that you're here? You give us no 
clue about that, only your statement that it is so. Did you not do what 
they say you did? Did you not mean to do whatever it was? Are you 
saying that you are better than this, meaning that you are not going 
to do the same things again? Give us something to understand what 
you mean. You say you're dealing with it, but this piece, without more, 
doesn't support that view. 

I I 



Her voice makes me happy 

And good and calm 

But when she leaves 

I feel sad and bad 

But when she comes back 
I feel like my life 
Is back together 

And when she kisses my lips 

I feel like I could do anything I want 

But then she left me 

I sat and cried over and over 

'Til this day I think about her 

And I have hope that one day 

She will come back to me 


From The Beat: Beautiful, sweet, tender, sad poem! You don't write what 
happened to you two as a couple, but did she leave you because you got 
in some trouble? Well if you truly care about this young gal, then you 
would make smarter choices that don't ut you in such a predicament. 
Damn, who wants to wait for a jailbird, when there are so many good 
lookin' guys in the free world? 


Nothin' New 

What's good with The Beat? It's yo boy, Thizzle, 'bout 
to get out, back to the neighborhood with my thugs. You 
know one year at the Ranch won't stop ya boy, because I 
am go' do my thang until my time is up. 

But, yea, up here, up at the Ranch, it ain't nothing. We 
just sit around an' talk 'bout what we go' do. An' it's cold 
as hell up here, but you know I am used to it. I am from 
the (neighborhood), baby. But once I touch down, I am on 
the block. But, yeah, keep ya heads up. 

-J Thizzle 

From The Beat: Young and foolish. What will it take to see that there is 
a much bigger world than your little ol neighborhood. So if your time 
is up at 80 years old, there you are, the oldest G slangin' and bangin'. 
Wouldn't that be a sight. 

Accidents, Outrages And Hope 


Accidents happen all the time if you slippin'. An accident 
can happen to you. It can happen in a second, and then you 

What outrages me is that when the weak-ass PO's don't 
know where to send you to, but when they do find you a 
program, it's hella phony. And they wonder why we run. 

What gives me hope is to get outta this weak-ass juvenile 
system and go to the spot and post with the homies. 

-Big Shoreview 
From The Beat: You need to write more on just ONE topic, not all three. 
We put your three pieces together, and even then, they don't tell us very 
much. One thing they do tell us, though, is that as long as your "hope' 
is focused on posting with the homies, you're going to experience a lot 
more of the system you say you hate. We hope you don't grow up behind 
these walls... but we hope you do GROW UP! 

lot I 
nd I 

Keep It Real Talk \ 

You know life is more than killing, and getting money 
from (ladies) all day. That's what I love to do, but now I am a 
changed man. I like to work a lot now. I know I am locked up 
right now, but I got my plan set. I hope that all this shhh they 
got planned for me works out, 'cause I am not coming back 
to this place, for real, 'cause I am at Log Cabin Ranch and 
they be acting like we are slaves up here, for real. 

-Da Weather Man 
From The Beat: You're right to stop getting money from young ivomen or 
anybody. You can earn your own money. What plan does the staff have 
for you on the outs? Will you be going home? Going into independent 
living? If you really feel like you're being treated like a slave at Log I 
Cabin Ranch, why don't you describe for The Beat in what ways? I 

My 'Hnod's Gnnna Be lint Like It Got A Fever \ 

What's good with The Beat? This you number one boy, 
holdin' it down at the Ranch. I get out in a few more 
months. They can't hold a ninja like me down forever, 
ya heard me? When I touch down I'm gon' have (my 
neighborhood) hot like it got a fever. When it's beef, I rock 
with my ninjas. 


From The Beat: You love your block, but why don't you write about why 
it^ so special, besides the violence that goes down in the street, that 
you hint about? Tell us more about why the 'hood that raised you means 
so much to you. 

lat I 
ins I 


I Didn't Mean Tn 

Accident that I had when I hit someone in the face with 
an apple in her face and almost put out her eye. 

What gives me hope is getting out of this place every 
time I go to court. 


From The Beat: We want you to write a lot more, but only on one topic, 
Steven. You can't tell us much when all you give us is one sentence on 
each topic! We need to know the details of that accident with the apple. 
When did it happen? Were you hoping to hit her in the face, or was that, 
also, an accident? What happened to her afterwards? What happened 
to you afterwards? There is so much more you could have told us. Next 
time, please do! (We will not publish any more one or two-sentence 

What Makes Me Mad 

What makes me mad when people and teachers think 
they could talk to me any way they could. When they do 
that, that's when I go off and crack his shhh, and I bet he 
would not talk like that again. 

When I was at school, a teacher was being racist, and 
the girl was black. 

-Pat Pizz 

From The Beat: Teachers should never do what you describe here. But 
who do you think would pay the biggest price if you reacted the way 
you say you would? Can you think of more grown-up ways to handle 
disrespectful teachers or disrespectful people in general? 

//// // 

What Outrages You 

X f 

What really makes me angry is this war we out here 
fighting. Not the war that's going on in the streets, but the 
war the we fighting in the streets. The beef shhh is crazy. 
Ninjas is dropping like rain drops out there. 

Ninjas is out there thinking they sick, but really soft 
as cotton. They out there tryin' to make a name for they 
selves, but once they get a shot, they go cryin' to they 
mom. When they get caught up, they start running they 
mouth like a person at a auction. 

They know how this life style is so if they go complain 
then they shouldn't be in it. That's what really makes 
me angry for real. Ninjas just need to stop running they 
mouth and live they life to the fullest 'cause that's what 
I'm gone do. We all we got. 


From The Beat: The truth is, Mike, we're not sure that you icnow "how 
this lifestyle is." if you did, you would realize that the entire criminal 
justice system, from juvie to death row, rests on a foundation of snitches 
— people who are caught up willing to trade what they icnow for lighter 
treatment. Complaining about it won't change this reality of what will 
always be so. There's only one way to keep this from happening in your 
life, and that is to change your life. If you don't do the things that give 
power to others (whether cops on the street, DAs and judges, or your 
own homies ivho knoiw iwhat you're up to), then you will have nothing 
to complain about. 

Jesis Gives Me lope 


What gives me hope is Jesus because I'm going through 
a lot right now. I talk to him every day and night about 
my struggle. He don't say nothing back, but I know he 
hears me and go walk with me through this. I just gotta 
be patient and make it like Trey sings. 

I know (my homie) in heaven, and he go give me 


From The Beat: You say that Jesus doesn't answer you when you talk to 
him, but maybe you just aren't listening. Maybe the answer he's giving 
you is right here, in the consequences you face for not following what 
he taught. Maybe he's waiting for you to hear wrhat he is telling you. 

What liives You Hope? 

Respecting myself on what I do. On something I'm good. 
My hobby is making music, being respectful and making 
my money just to live. 


From The Beat: We turned your one sentence piece into a two sentence 
piece. But either way, this is just a lazy response that we won't do again. 
What kind of music do you like to make. What does "being respectful" 
mean to you? How can you make money without putting your freedom 
at risk? Give us some real thinking and writing, or lose your spot in 
The Beat. 

A Crucial Accident 

What's up with The Beat? This that ninja Na-Na holding 
it down with my thugs. 

But back to the topic. Man me and my two cousins 
was in the rental with three females. We was going to 
Tanforan Mall, and we crossed in front of a 18 wheeler 
and it hit us in the back. We fiipped 15 times. My bro's 
girlfriend fiew out the windshield, and bro went to jail for 
drivin' a car without a license. So that was my accident. 


From The Beat: What happened to the girl who flew through the 
windshield? It's no accident that you got into a car with an unlicensed 
driver; that's a decision you made with terrible consequences. Plus, we 
bet that that 18 wheeler hit you because the driver cut him off too 
quickly. Driving is not a right but a privilege, and it requires not just 
skill, but judgment. If we needed proof of that, this "accident" gives 
us all we need. (We're glad that you are still in this world and able to 
write about it...) 

X I 


My Modi liives Me Hope 


What's good with The Beat? Something that gives me 
hope is my mom. She's someone that's keep hope in my 
life that I'm go get out and do go. That's one person that 
gives me hope. 


From The Beat: You are so luclcy to have a mom that inspires you. Not 
everybody is so lucky. When you think of all that she's done for you, 
how can you give her hope? 

Back Agaifl 

What it do. Beat? Me, just chillin', waitin' to go to 

court. But I'm back again. I was mad, but I can't do 

nothing but be mad at myself. 

But these crackers will give you a hundred years 

And have yo' mamma leaving out the courtroom with 


Crackers don't love the air we breathe, for real. 

Take a ninja live from them, they don't know how it feel. 

All right then. Beat. 

-Young K 

From The Beat: Unfortunately, this piece answers the question we asked 
in our "From The Beat" response to your other piece. Apparently, you 
were not able to use the time you've already given up to the system to 
figure out a way to stay out of it, and that means you're letting the time 
do you instead of the other way around. Time is the one thing we can 
never get back in life, so we hope you start thinking in new ways. It's 
not about "crackers" and "ninjas" (there are more white people on death 
row than black people, for example). It^ about taking responsibility for 
your own behavior, and facing the consequences when you don't. 

Hard Talk 

What's up. Beat? It's me again. Young Kada. But yeah, 
it be these new dudes out here, acting like they with 
the movement, but really ain't. Then we got these hard 
talkers, yellin' this and tiiat, but ain't 'bout nothing they 
be talking 'bout. 

Then I got this staff always talking shhh and tellin' 
me that he will put me in my room, and I tell them like 
this: How y'all gone give me time if I'm doing time? 

But, yeah, I get at y'all later. Beat. 

-Young K 

From The Beat: Stop worrying about what those "new dudes" are doing, 
and start worrying about what you're doing. Are you thinking about 
how to keep from doing time in the future? That's the only way to i 
this time to your benefit. The staff will always be in control of you, 
you give them that power by handing away your freedom. What are 
going to do once you get out of here to keep that from happening^ 



9 use I 

BU, if I 

e you I 

Afl "Accldeot" With Cooseqoeoces \ 

Well on Monday, I was with my homie and we just left 
from my house. We were driving on the Divisadero to 
Church Street. But when we almost got there, my bra 
started to speed. But at the same time, he did not notice 
that the police was on the opposite side. So the cops 
made a U-turn, then pulled us over. 

Before we pulled over, he crashed into a car and made 
the whole thing worse. When they came to the car... well 
you know what they asked and said. But anyway, then 
the other cop asked me for my ID. Then I told him I didn't 
have one, so they asked what's my name. Then when I 
gave it to them, it... well you know I'm writin' this, so 
yeah, that's my story. 


From The Beat: You know, Ricardo, we don't have much sympathy for 
people who get behind the wheel of a car and put innocent people at 
great danger. It's one thing to put yourself in a dangerous position, but 
how would you deal with it if that car your homie crashed into had a 
baby in it, and the baby was killed? Of course, the consequences to you 
would be far worse, but what about the consequences to that innocent 
child who just happened to be in the way of fools? 

//// // 

Things That Make Me Mad; Things That 
liive Me Hope 


Things that make me mad is when people think they 
could talk to you any way they want. People talk to you 
like they're your parents. Some people think they could 
take advantage of you. People around me think they better 
than you because of your race. The reason I think that's 
unfair is because everybody should be treated equally. I 
think it's outrageous when people like teachers treat you 
like you're they child, and that's why students always 
have problems. 

My mom and brothers give me hope when I was feeling 
down. They was the ones who brought me up. 


From The Beat: We agree with you, Leonard, that everyone should be 
treated equally. We hope you know that it doesn't matter what others 
say or think about you. it only matters what you do. 

I I 

Wtit Outraies Mmii 

What outrages me is when someone tries to take what 
belongs to me, 'cause if it belongs to me, that means that 
means I worked hard for it. But even if it was given to me, 
I advise you to get your own of whatever it is. 

If you try to take something from me, things will get 
ugly, and we don't want that. I do what I have to do to 
defend mine. It's the same if you mess with my family, but 
the outcome could be worse. 


From The Beat: No, we certainly don't want things to get ugly... Can we 
assume from what you've written that you don't steal anything from 
others? That wouldn't make sense to do something that outrages you 
if it^ done to you. 


What Gives Me loie . 

What gives me hope is God. That the only person that ■ 
keeps me hoping, you dig. Ain't no person but God I have 
hope in. 

Well anyways, what's good with The Beat? Man, it's 
yo' boy V-Guttah still holding it down, trying to get out 
back to that good ol' life I live you dig. Back to the block. 
Back to making that fast money. 


From The Beat: Right... back to the "good ol' life" (that led you here), j 

"back to the block" (that led you here), and back to "making that fast | 

money" (that led you here). Here's our question: if your only hope lies I 

with God, then what do you think God is hoping from you? I 

In Outraie 


What's cracking? It's that ninja Lano. Was it a accident 
when the judge told me you got 12 months in the halls? 
Hell yeah. It was outrageous. But after a while, I wasn't 
tripping. I'm about to knock it out. 

-Yung Lano 

From The Beat: Outrageous? Maybe... But an accident? How? When 
you write, it's the details that make a piece good or not. Why are you 
outraged by the consequences of your acts? Or, did you not do what the . 
court said you did? I 

What Gives Me Hope? 


What do you do when you are sad? When I am sad I go to 
my mom and dad for help an' they make me happy. 

-Young Quez 

From The Beat: Two sentences! Don't be lazy, Quez! It will not make your 
life easier. What do your parents do to make you happy? What makes 
you sad? Can you be happy if you give away your freedom to this system 
that takes you from your mom and dad? Next time, we won't publish 
just two sentences from you. You are capable of much more. 




The reason that I'm in was a accident I was supposed 
to stay clean, but I smoked and that was a accident, you 
dig. One last thing keep yo friends close and yo enemies 
closer 'cause yo' friends will be the one that toast ya. 

-Lil' Dre 

From The Beat: We're curious to know how smoking could be an accident. 
Maybe you just didn't icnow what you were doing... 

What Outrages Me 

What outrages me is that the game is spoiled. I used 
to always hear old stories of real G's in the game, and it 
used to be poppin fa' real. Every man was his own man; 
when you make a decision to bust a real power move, it's 
yo' decision. 

Now the game is straight spoiled. Ain't nobody real out 
there. This whole shhh is ran by fear. A ninja would act 
like he the sickest ninja, then when a real ninja come, he 
turn into straight noodles, feel me. That's what outrages 

-Fed Up Gloss 

From The Beat: What's really changed "the game" is that it^ easier to 
get a gun now than to get an education — and guns in the hands of 
children can only have disastrous consequences! What really outrages 
us is when ive read what passes for "real" in your vocabulary. If we 
were to accept your definition of "a real ninja," we would have to call 
Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, W.E.B Dubois, Marcus 
Garvey and Thurgood Marshall all fake. You're "real" but they're "fake, 

No Plans To Change Much 



What's good with The Beat? This ya boy Mook sittin' 
in this weak-ass unit with my goons ready to go to the 
spot. But I'm 'bout to have me a Mookey Jr. in a couple of 
months, so I'm happy about that movement. 

But when I get out, I don't plan on changing all that 
much, even though I changed a lot. I miss the outs and 
BM. Can't put her name down, ya dig. I love you lil' bra. I 
Keep yo' head. ' 


From The Beat: If having a baby does not make you change much, then 
you are not ready to be a father. Making a baby is the easiest thing 
in the world; a chicken can do it. But being a father — being there to 
take care of a baby and a child, guiding him or her along the right path 
— that takes a man. Until you recognize that having a baby changes 
everything, you really can't call yourself a responsible adult. We wish 
you luck, and hope that you become your baby's father. I 



What 'sup with The Beat? You know how people be 
beefing and stuff, and the staff say just let it go. Well, how 
you gone let it go when people just keep talking shhh? 
Me? I be willing to let shhh go, but when I do, people just 
keep talking shhh. So how am I supposed to let things 

I'm asking y'all fo' advice. But if you say just ignore 
them, other people gone think you a sucka, ya feel me? 
That's why I can't let things slide 'cause people gone start 
calling you a sucka and other names. I can't let that slide, 
ya dig? 

So let me ask you, how am I supposed to let it slide? 
This ya boy Chris. I'm out. 

-Lir Canon 

From The Beat: You're in one of those situations where you only have 
bad choices to select from. Since both your options carry consequences, 
you must decide which is worth more: what people think about you (and 
even say about you), or getting DRBs or even new charges. It's easy for 
us to say ignore it (which we believe is the better option), but we're 
not in your shoes. One thing we know, however, is that it takes great 
courage not to respond to name-calling. 



//// // 

Ain't No One Stopping Me 

Wha's up with The Beat, you feels me? What it do, you 
feels me? This be your boy. I've been here for two months, 
but you feels, your homie gotta do the time. 

Went to court and messed me over. The DA and the 
judge said I was a menace to society. They said I wasn't 
capable to be on the streets. Now I just chillin' and waiting 
with the homies, so they could swoop me up so I could go 
to the Ranch and complete my program. 

They trying keep me 10 to 12 months from the 'hood, 
but you feel me, ain't no one stopping me. Once I complete 
the program I'm back to the 'hood. 


From The Beat: Come on, Moreno. Are you so blind that you can't see 
what's right in front of you? If "they" can stop you for a year (and they 
have), they can also stop you for five years, ten years — your entire 
life! More than 2,000 juveniles in California have been sentenced to 
Life In Prison Without the possibility of Parole! They will never see 
the light of day, never touch a female, never walk on the street, never 
wear anything but state-issue, never eat a home-cooked meal... If you 
don't want the same thing to happen to you, it^ time that you stop 
pointing the finger at others (the DA, the judge), and start accepting 
some personal responsibility. If not, you're throwing away your future! 

~\ [ Things That I Wonder In My Head \ 


When I was little, my auntie got in a accident in a cab. 
I call a accident something you do, not intentionally do. 
It's something you do without trying to do. 


From The Beat: Please do not write about all three topics, because 
when you do, you can't really tell us much about any one of them. We 
combined two of your pieces into one for that reason. And in this piece, 
you could have told us so much more... What happened to your auntie? 
is she all right? How do you avoid accidents? Next time, choose just one 
subject and write a lot more about that one. 

Nn Snitching 

What's good. The Beat Within? Shhh, it's just ya boy. 
The Dude, ready to touch these streets and do my thang. 
But I'm go' let it follow like water to a sink. 

What's good wit' these ninjas snitching an' then they 
turn around and act like they solid? I'm lookin' at these 
ninjas like, "What do you think? This the Free Respect 
Give Away?" These soft ninjas better get it right before 
they get played like something that get played wit'! 

Y'all know I don' never snitch, or go out like a 

Ninjas actin' like it's cookies and cream wit' milk on 
the side up here at The Ranch. But if they don't know 
what it be on the streets when they get out, then they go 
find out it's hot I'm go end it here wit' one love. 

-The Dude 

From The Beat: Obviously you are speaking from experience when it 
comes to osnitching, so give us some examples! Why do you care what 
others at the ranch do? Mind your own business and get your mind 
right. It% only words Dude! 

Wliat Gives Me Hope 


The stuff that give me hope is people that talk to me and 
show me the right stuff and speak the real and then lift 
me up and keep me from stressing and push me forward 
to achieve in life. 

-Lil' Cali 

From The Beat: This is only a first sentence, Lil' Cali, not a real piece. One 
sentence is an hour workshop is the lazy man's way out, and laziness 
does not move you very far. Who are the people you are describing? 
Can you give us an example of when someone told you something that 
lifted you, that kept you from stressing? Can you tell us who pushed 
you forward, and what you want to achieve in life. We won't publish any 
more one-sentence pieces from you. 



What's good wit' The Beat? It's ya boy. Chink, holdin' it 
down at the Ranch wit' my bros. 

For today's assignment I am going to speak upon my 
vicious "thinking." I feel the world is going against me 
at various moments. It's like every thought that occurs 
in my brain, it's all negative. Visions of me under the 
world, gettin' my mellon scattered throughout the gravel. 
Everyone I trust and love is stabbin' me slowly but surely, 
decreasing my strength, trying to have me dig in the dirt 
with no return. It seems like I am a ghost in this society 
with so many individuals. Subtracted from the world. 

I also think about my future—basically to get money if 
it's positive or negative. Well, that's some of the things I 
think about while I'm observing the community. 

Well, I am going to holla at y'all later. Until we meet 
again. Chink is goin' to be holdin' it down like I been 


From The Beat: Why this thinking? Why would the world zero in on you? 
Can think of reasons why you feel this way? Does it boil down to some of 
the choices you have made in your young life? You are disappointed, but 
what about the ones who care for you? Also, what can you do to make 
things better? Figure out your role in what is causing these thoughts? 

i I 


Stiull Haie Stayel 


What's up with The Beat? Yeah, is your boy, Ryder. Yeah 
I'm back. I went to Walden House for twenty minutes. 
Shhh, that was dumb. I should have stayed with the 
program. I was gone for two weeks and they raided ma 
homegirl's house. Shhh, I shoulda known not to be there. 
Somethin' told me I should not have, but oh, well, my 
fault. I shoulda just stayed with the program. 

-Lil' Ryder 

From The Beat: Yes, you should have. Does this mean that next time 
you'll stick it out, even if it's not what you hope for or want? Children > 
run from their problems. Adults face them. It's time... I 

On IHY IVJind 

What's good with The Beat? It's that ninja Meez in the 
max. unit. I'm doin' what I got to do. 

But damn, I went to court on the 31st of January and 
they dropped a few charges. But I lost my 707, and on the 
27th of this month, they gone transfer me to 850. And 
then I got to start my case all over in the audit system. 
But I'ma make bail, so it's sweet. 


From The Beat: Making bail is about the only "sweet" thing we can see 
in this situation. We hope the experience of an adult jail is enough to 
make your realize that prison is just another form of slavery, except 
that these are chains of your own making. What you've made you can 
unmake. We hope you do. 

Wliat Outrages Me 

an I 


What outrages me is these fake-ass ninjas that's like 
the big and bad, but deep down inside soft as butter. It 
outrages me because they not with it like they say they 
with it. You see them on the outs and they hard, and you 
see them here, you see they soft. 

I go hard regardless with are without my ninjas but 
for all the weak ninjas, stay weak. All the real stay real ya 


From The Beat: What outrages us is people who put the focus on others 
instead of themselves. You're the one who has given away his freedom 
to a bunch of strangers telling you what to do, so it seems to us that 
you could use your time more wisely by figuring out what you need 
to do — and especially what you need to stop doing — to regain the 
control you have given ayvay to the system. 



//// // 


I remember when I was at the ocean fishing with my dad 
on a sunny weekend. After a couple of hours of fishing, 
we were getting ready to leave 'cause the waves were 
getting hella big. 

When we tried to leave the engine didn't want to start. 
Then after about 10 minutes of the boat not starting a 
massive ass wave came and fiipped the boat over. Then I 
blacked out. All I remember is waking up in a hospital. 

I think God gave me another chance to live because 
my head was split open and I had hypothermia. So that 
was my little accident I had. 


From The Beat: With so much news focusing on the loss and frailty of 
life, it's easy to forget just how resilient we can be. That "little" accident 
of yours could have easily left you dead, but you were somehow able to 
persevere. If you believe in a higher being, you're right to thank him, 
and maybe that angel over your head sk% well. 

Wish You Were Here 

I wish you have been there for me, 

But you left when I was still three, 

I hardly know you but yet I still care. 

Even though you're not I pretend you were there. 

When time's got hard I needed your help. 

But some how I didn't when TIMES felt like hell. 

I still love you for putting me in this world, 

- Longing For You 

From The BeatiYou're such skn amazing person for still loving this person 
although he/she left when you were young. This poem encourages us to 
be there for our family and friends. Thanks for sharing this, and keep 
on sharing this message with the people you meet and know. 


My Baby Girl 

What up Beat.' It's your homeboy Chucky. You all might 
know me as the boy that has tats on his face and neck. 

What gives me hope is my beautiful eleven month old 
daughter. Her name is Corrine. She has hope on my life 
a lot. Without her I would be in prison or dead. But she 
keeps me from that 'cause she needs me and I need her. 
So to me that is hope, having your family by your side 
100%. So beat I'm out for now but not forever. 

- Chucky 

From The Beat: We totally agree with you. Hope is so related to out 
interdependency with others, whether they be family or friends. There's 
rarely such a thing sk% hope that's completely divorced from others. We 
always need someone to lean on, and there^ always somebody who 
needs us. So we hope both you and your daughter grow to have a great 

When I Get Out I'm Going To... 

When I get out 
I'm going to try hard to stay out. 

When I get out 

I'm going to go back to school. 

When I get out 

I'm going to find a job. 

When I get out 

I'm going to talk to my ex. 

When I get out 

I'm going to get my life on track. 

"That's what I'll do when I get out." 


From The Beat: All of these are admirable goals that we can definitely 
see you accomplishing. Do you have a plan for how you'll go about 
achieving these goals? Do you foresee any problems or obstacles to 
fulfilling your goals? Although it's important to remain optimistic about 
life, it's also important to keep in mind what you might come up against 
and try to think of ways to deal with problems before they happen. We 
really hope you at least never go back here and can stay in school. 

A Quad AoGident 


< I 


I ride/race quads and on my free time I like to go to 
HoUister hills and practice. There was one weekend I went 
with my sister, brother-in-law, and his friend Jack. We did 
a trail ride and went on the backside of the mountain. I 
like trailing rides to build endurance. 

After a 30-minute trail ride we got back to the main 
road and headed to camp. I was being stupid hauling ass 
down the road in fourth gear on a straightaway and came 
into a big sweeping let turn. I came into the turn smooth 
and I hit the gas a little too hard and broke the back tires 
loose and the quad slid sideways and once I was sliding 
completely sideways the tires caught on edge and it threw 
me off and tossed me about 20 feet and the quad rolled 
down behind me and ended up on top of my back (I was 
facedown) a car stopped and some people jumped out and 
pushed the quad off me. I got up and walked it off. 

My quad was pretty messed up when I took a look at 
it. My steering stem was bent, blew out a tire, ripped my 
seat off, cracked my plastics, and beat my sub-frame. I 
was pissed. After the crash that was the end of my day. 


From The Beat: Sounds like a pretty gruesome accident you had. While 
you may have made a poor decision coming into the turn, you learn 
best from your mistakes. We're impressed by your passion for motocross 
and your willingness to get up and try again, though in this case it was i 
probably best that you called it a day! I 



If there was someone who keep the pain I keep 
If there was someone who know's how to stand up in the 

If there is someone who left far away from their family to 

help them out 
and now the someone is lock up for something he didn't 


Now that someone feels so bad for leaving their family 

I would like to know the someone is hurt and told him 

that I am the someone too. 


From The Beat: These are deep words Jose. Through thick and thin it 
seems that the one constant in your life is your love of family. That is a 
powerful thing and it isn't going anywhere, if you could speak to your 
faraway family, what would you tell them? I 

This Struggle 

I remember, growing through the struggle. 

how does it feel, when no one loved you. 

how does it sound, 

when all your family talks shhh about you now. 

I was labeled at an early age 

a nobody, which filled my heart with rage 

I was raised in the south bay. 

Eliminating all my enemies with hate 

I wish I could turn my life around. 

My life too complicated to even understand 

why I live this life this way 

full of pain and agony 

this is the beginning, not the end 

Ace out until we meet again 

- Ace 

From The Beat: You said that you wish you could turn your life around 
but you can't. I'm not so sure about that. I think that^ what the world 
wants you to think, so that you won't succeed. But we believe in you, 
and that you still have a fighting chance, not just to survive, but to 
thrive in your community. Life may just seem like one big struggle 
given the choice of lifestyle, but don't look at it like that. Take it one 
struggle at a time, and make the right choices in each of them. Pretty 
soon, you'll find yourself climbing up and up. 

//// // 



Very Sad 

Very sad Fm in here 

April ain't here with me 

Learning a lot about my self and others 

Electing people I share my business with carefully 

Need to hurry up and get sentenced 

Trying to hold composure with some of these females 

Irritated & moody 

Nervous about court 

East Palo Alto all day baby! 


From The Beat: We can understand you being sad because you're locked 
up. You can't be say all day everyday. Might sk% well make the best 
of your stay here in the halls. No matter what happens keep smiling 
because that^ something nobody can take away from you. Having a 
good positive attitude no matter where you at, will help you go a long 

My Friend 

Yup, she got me mad because I told her about a two 
faced girl and that's what she told me. I wouldn't want to 
kick it or chop it up with someone I think is cool with me. 
So yeah, I told her and she didn't really get me. Oh well, 
she makes her own choices. I still care about her hella. 
Damn, but yeah, I was hella mad. I was hitting the wall 'til 
I bled. I hella care for her and she's the only one I really 
care for in here. Stay up. 


From The Beat: Friends can get mad at each other, but the anger doesn't 

I last. Friends are too precious to lose. You'll be laughing at it soon 



I ■ ■ ' 

My Wishes 


Wishing I was wit' you 

I miss you very much boo-boo 

People told me shhh I thought wasn't true 

The only reason for that is because I trusted you 

But the truth be told the stuff was true 

You still my girl and you know I will always love you 

I believe in second chances and I will give it to you 

They got us separated now so we can't be together 

But all I ask is you do me a favor 

Never cheat never lie never do me dirty 

Until then you always have me by my side 

-Positive Savage 

From the Beat: We wish you the best of luck on your life, but we do 
want you to know that that person that you like better be proving 
themselves to you that they really like you. Because people that cheat 
sadly, will cheat again especially if they can get away with it. So be a 
little more careful. We don't want to see you get heart broken. 

An elderly cannibal Sage and a Missionary were 
comparing their philosophies. The cannibal reminisced 
about the tribal wars he fought and how he had eaten his 
foes, the missionary said, "we fight wars for higher reason, j i 
for truth, for defense of democracy, and for freedom". I I 

"You must eat many people?" said the cannibal. 

"Oh no." Said the missionary, "we don't eat human 

Then said the cannibal; "you have no reason to kill 
each other." 

I like this short story because it makes sense. Why do 
we kill each other? Over turf, over drugs? Is it worth it? 
I'll get back to you next week Beat. y i 

-Adrian I 

From the Beat: Why do we kill each other? Why don't you ask your peers? ' 
Why don't you ask the community? How can you get people to realize 
that life is too precious to go around stealing it from somebody? 

I I 


My Valentine's Day 


Well, as you know, today's Valentine's Day. Today's 
supposed to be a happy day, but for me it's a painful day. 
Here's a poem about someone who meant so much to 

It was Valentines Day. That's when you left and passed 
away. You didn't suffer. I'm glad you didn't feel the pain. 
But today I wish you could be just a phone call away. I 
was surprised when they said you were no longer alive. 
My heart sank to my feet and for a second I couldn't even 
breathe. I loved you so much. Why did you have to leave? 
I wish it was me that had to leave. There's so much sweet 
memories of you, me and the family. It's crazy how you 
left without warning me. 

You were different in all kinds of ways. I remember 
your favorite things. If you were here, the family wouldn't 
be so far away. Grandpa and grandma went their separate 
ways. And for the rest of the family - they gave up and 
moved away. Well uncle, there's so much more to say, but 
I have to stop before my eyes tear up. Uncle Peter, I love 
you very much and don't worry, I'll keep in touch. Much 
love, your niece. 

-Ronnie's Girl 

From The Beat: We're sorry for your loss, and your family's loss. You'll be 
seeing him in your dreams. In the meantime, it's really OK to tear up. It's 
important to let those feelings out. Grief is sktt essential emotion. Honor 
your own grief, and your Uncle Peter, by crying when you feel like 


onor I 


I may seem very friendly 

But snitches make me angry 

'Cause in the pen it ain't no joke 

I'll stop the words comin' out your throat 

But god told me at night 

Never let anger take over your might 

'Cause you'll be the one who'll live in fright 

Forever and ever, until death wants to fight 


From The Beat: We had to change one line because it was too threatening, 
too graphic. But still, we admire your skills sk% a poet. We hope you're 
truly listening to what you say God tells you, because it's true. One more 
thing: the entire criminal justice system is based on snitches, and it 
always will be. From the street to the pen, there will always be people 
willing to trade what they know for a better deal. That leaves you with i 
only one way to win the game: don't play it! I 


A Presidential Hnmie 


Well what up Beat!? 

I'm writing from Santa Clara County, of course it's 
"San Jose." 

Well my achievements would be when I'll grow up to 
become president. If I were president I would try my best 
to help out the community and the people. 

Then the little stuff I would take care of like build 
more shelters and lock all the bums up and make them 
get a job. 

I would build a cannibus club right in the heart of 
San Jose. 

After that I would travel the United States and try to help 
other people. 

Well that's all I got for 2day so stay up. 

- The Homie R 

From The Beat: Aiming high is sin important part of having goals and 
accomplishing achievements. It^ great that you want to build more 
shelters for people and want to help people in general. Have you ever 
thought about why homeless people are homeless, though? Why they 
are on the streets and why, maybe, they are unable to get or hold down 
a job? Locking them up is not sk% simple sk% it seems. As someone behind 
bars, would you say that locking you up is the way to solve why you 
committed a crime in the first place? 

//// // 

Plenty Of Achievements 

X f 

I have a lot of achievements that I have had in my life. 
I want to achieve on getting out and finishing my high 
school education and also I want to go to San Jose State 

After college I want to start my own business. I want 
to stay out of trouble and get my name cleared from the 

I achieved on making it to my junior year of high 
school. I hope to get to finish it because I'm locked up it's 
going to be difficult to. 

This is my first time and it really changed me. 

After I get out I'm going to concentrate a lot more on 
my education. I plan to achieve on making my parents 
proud, and that I'm gonna do something good with my 

I was only on probation for 1 month before I got 
arrested, exactly 30 days. 

When is sit in my cell I think to myself, 'Man, how did 
I let this happen to myself? Why was I being so stupid?' It 
really opened my eyes to life. 

My main achievement I want to achieve is finish my 
education on a high level and making something out 
of my life. I'm going to achieve this goal by staying out 
of trouble, keeping my life on the right path and keep 
focused to my education. 

My parents and family will keep me focused and give 
me the best advice to stay ahead and not fall behind. 


From The Beat: It is clear that you have a lot of ambition and drive 
to succeed and make something of yourself. Congratulations — that is 
the first step in staying out of trouble! How do you plan to achieve 
your goals when you return home? What obstacles do you see being 
presented in your path? We only ask because it is necessary to think of 
the roadblocks before they come across you in order to not be defeated 
by them. Our best wishes to you! 

' I 

What Eiie You lope? 


In the deepest darkest despair 

I feel hope so very near 

But I fear someday it will disappear 

'Cause the life in me calls it fear 

The love in me took my life away 

'Cause it followed a girl who took my breath away 

She was the one I thought I could count on 

To love me while I was blamed on 

But who could wait for a murderer 

Who took the game a little further 

Now I wait in thoughts and try to cope 

For one day to have more hope 


From The Beat: What gives u% hope is your questioning mind/Something 
both out and in that's hard to find/It gives u% hope because it's bound 
to grow/As it unfolds, no one can predict where it will go/What you've 
done in the past, you can put it behind you/Don't let yourself be tricked 
into thinking it defines you/Jesus tooic a thief into heaven, not for 
what he'd done/But, instead, for the honorable man he'd become 



When I think about hope, I am reminded of the song 
"Vindicated" by Dashboard Confessional, especially 
the part that goes, " hope dangles on a string like slow 
spinning redemption winding in and winding out the 
shine of which has caught my eye". It's a great song that 
you should listen to when you're down. 


From the Beat: That sounds like a great song to listen to when you're 
doiwn. Have you ever thought about creating your own song when 
you're down? What else can you do? 

I I 


An Achievement 


One thing I want to achieve is to own my own business 
and make a lot of money. I don't know what kind of 
business I want to run but I'm gonna do it 'cause I want 
to make money. But first I have to get all my credits and 
graduate high school. 

After I achieve graduating high school, I'm going to 
college to learn about business. Getting a college diploma 
is one of my main goals I want to achieve. After that I can 
do whatever I want to do and I can do anything with my 

Oh ya I almost forgot to write this first thing I want 
to achieve is getting out of the hall, getting off probation, 
and staying out of trouble. 

- Aa 

From The Beat: You have a lot of great goals for your life. Owning 
a business and being financially successful are admirable goals. Have 
you made any plans for how you want to achieve this? What sorts of 
obstacles, if siny, do you think you might encounter? What do you think 
the effects will be of your success? Never be afraid to dream big, but 
aliAfays make sure you have a plan to make it happen! 

It's A Big Word 

What's up Beat. What it do, it's your boy Marco coming 
from this unit. I'm just here writing today's topic and 
today's topic is achievements. 

Man that's a big word. But anyways, mmm, let's see 
what would I like to achieve. I would like to achieve by 
getting out of here and not coming back. 

I have been here four times already. I can't be coming 
back no more because I'm about to turn 18 and next step 
is county and I don't want to go there. It's not that I'm 
scared it's just that I don't want to have a record when I 
turn 18. And I also want to get out of probation, clean my 
record and love someone in life. 

Well that's all I have to say for now late until next time 
maybe. Arato... 

- Marco. 

From The Beat: We really hope you can stay out of here and achieve 
that goal in life. Wanting to stay out of trouble and wanting to love 
someone are great goals in life. How do you see yourself accomplishing 
that? What do you think you can start to do now to make sure you can | 
accomplish both of these plans? I 

When I'm Dnwn 

Whenever I'm down and I don't know what to do, I write 
lyrics on the page, I write lyrics that are true. So when 
you're down and you don't know what to do, just do what 
your best at, and do what you do. 

-Big Keno 

From the Beat: That's a good way to get your feelings off your chest. 
Just write it down you'll feel a lot better. 

Getting Out Of Here 

Something that I would like to achieve is to get out of 
juvie and stay out, get back into school, get a job to be 
able to get a new car and to save money to go to college to 
become something in life and to stay out of trouble. So I 
could move forward in life and not backwards all the time. 
Because I want to do something with my life. That's some 
things I would like to achieve. 


From The Beat: It's great that you want to stay out of juvenile hall and 
want to keep your life on track. Have you given any thought to what 
'keeping your life on track' would mean? Do you have skn^ career goals 
or other more specific aspirations for your life? What sorts of obstacles 
do you think you might encounter? We're glad you're motivated to stay 

Pjlfff // 

Raised amongst a tough breed 

so if put under pressure we won't crack, 

can no longer trust those beside me , 

I've lost faith in all around me, 

I don't even trust my own shadow. 

Slowly fighting for my freedom 

But it seems to be a one-sided battle. 

And with so called homies turning they 

Back it seems they don't want me to win. 

And I find myself laughin' like a 

Madman thinking of the situation I'm in, 

Where's the loyalty that was once pledged. 

By two youngstas with nothing to lose? 

Does honor no longer apply? 

Or did someone simply just change the rules? 

Now the judge wants to throw me an L 

So I'm gonna throw this back at em, 

Slippin' through the system 

havin' them gaspin "Damn I thought we had em!" 

With the D-A tightening his grip 

He's tryin make me cop a plea. 

But our Latinos refuse to put our head down 

so we won't go quietly. 


From the Beat: ...And off you go to prison. A lot of people talk about 
their tough upbringings in The Beat. How has that made you into the 
person you are today? You also vent some anger about a lack of loyalty. 
What is important about loyalty to you and how do you practice it in 
your life? 

loie Stir) 


I remember the first time I made love to a female I was on 
my O.T. from the Ranch, I won't ever forget this because 
it was in the back seat of my mom's car while she was 
visiting her man in prison. I was in the middle of having a 
lot of fun when about five corrections officers came to the 
car and pulled me out. They had grabbed me and threw 
me against the car cause they thought I was an inmate. 

Then my girl gave me my shirt and my 501s. then I 
put them on and I showed them my ID so they made me 
get dressed and we had to wait for my mom's visit to be 
over. I will never forget that moment! 

- Green Eyes 

From The Beat: Sounds like you had a pretty close encounter! Tell 
us more about how different it feels visiting a prison versus being 
incarcerated yourself. 

My Uncles Saved me! 

I remember when I was walking to a park to a family 
BBQ. When I got half way to the park I started to get 
followed by a lot of rival gang members; when I got to the 
park they had started to jump me when my uncles came. 
That is when my uncles saved me! 

-Green Eyes 

From The Beat: Family is a very common topic that a lot of people write 
about in the Beat. Moments like these seem to be the reason why: 
family members standing up for each other. Besides helping you defend 
yourself, how else have your uncles affected your life? Are they people 
whom you could consider role models? 

My Secret Confession 

- Norbit's Love 

From the Beat: Wow you spent all this time writing a ridiculous piece. 
What is there to say about this "confession, give it to your special 
friend. It seems like you have a real talent for satire. This is a funny 
piece and you should think about extending your humorous writing 
tactics to another subject. 


Well well well what's up Beat 

It's homeboy Shorty once again 

Coming at you from this unit! 

Even though I am not suppose 

To be here but yeah, 

What can I say. 

Well just tired 

Bored as hell 

I'm just waiting to get released. 

People say that my unit sucks, 

but really it's hella sick as hell. 

I think this is the best unit I been in 

since I been here 

I been in plenty, but this one 

Whooooo that shhh is sick. You go 

Your own weights in here it all legit but 

Yeah well this cholo is out and 

To all, keep you head up 

-Till then... 


From the Beat: What is so sick about your current unit? You %x^ you're 
bored a lot. What are some things you could do to occupy yourself? Tell 
us about some of the things you enjoy doing while in this unit. I 


< r 

Brnken Leo 

My accident that I had is with my homeboy at his house. 
Me and him were playing around with each other. Then 
he pushed me and I broke my leg. I told him I could not 
walk no more, my leg is broken. 

Then he said, "no it's not!" 

I said, "yes it is. 

Than he looked at it and he said, "sorry it was an 
accident, dog you know that." Then he took me to the 
doctor's, that was cool. Then after we were done we left 
and he gave me one of his cars so that was cool too. 

One year later my leg was ok. That's all I have to say 


From The Beat: It's good to hear that your story has a happy ending. 
it% too bad that your friend accidently pushed you, but it's nice that he 
took you to the doctors. Hopefully you still keep in contact with each 
other and help each other now sk% you both did in the past. 


The Super Dnper Bowl Flo 

he I 
ich I 


Pads slammin' pads, cats getting rushed 

On the fields where the cats steady talking getting 


Its game day come on bring yo' game mane 

Time to get them grass stains 

Time to feel the damn pain 

Out here we don't play fo fun 

Asks Archie Mannings son 

Matter-a-fact ask Brady 
His accuracy be dumb crazy 

And if we fo' a loss 

I'll pass it to my boy Moss 

When it comes to the bowl ya Giants ain't playin 

But I bet you the Pats will do the slayin' 

But just sit on ya recliner and pull out the six pack 

And watch while Vrabel don't miss a sack 

And while you watchin the game yo' girl messin wit 



From the Beat: Nice flo, although the Super Bowl turned out a little 
differently from your prediction, and you sat in the hall. Something 
about the last line doesn't really seem to fit in, though. Keep writing, 
D-MANi, you obviously have talent. 


//// // 

My Achievements 


My goals are if I get shipped out to live with my grandma 
in New Jersey and do my year probation, down there. But 
I am gonna tell them all I'm from the West Coast, but they 
going to hate because I'm going to the East Coast. But I'll 
take care of business and do my program so when I come 
back from doing my program. Then I'm gonna put in hella 
work, so stay up. 


From The Beat: A lot of the most terrible things in human history have 
happened because one person considered another so different from him 
that the person seemed to be of a different species. Why do you think it 
matters so much what coast you grew up on that people are killed every 
year for it? Doesn't that seem like a silly thing to die for? And putting 
. Wake up! 

in work? Please. 




You in that unit I'm in this one 

Our love stay strong even though were doin' time 

I wish I could see you hold you and kiss you 

But I know I can't so I let my imagination 

Run wild and think about the good we been through 

We been through it all, thick and thin 

I hate that I have to express my love 

To you in this Beat Within. 

When you get out I hope you hold it 

Down for me and be there to support me 

Mentally. Baby girl I love you 

I hope you feel the same for me 

I'm cut it short, stay strong 

Good luck in court 

- Lil' Slick 

From the Beat: \tt great that even though you are locked up you can 
still feel that close and connected to your girl. How much better is it on 
the "outs?" Could you use that sk% motivation for staying out of trouble? 
And if she is incarcerated sk% well, do you think that has contributed 
to whatever happened that got you in here? We hope you support her . 
"mentally" too. it is a two-way street young man! I 

What gives me hope is knowing that the homies from my 
barrio are gonna be waiting for me and new lil' homitos 
gonna be jumped in my barrio that what gives me hope to 
come out and see my hood and my family. 

When I get released they'll all be waiting for me if 
they're not locked up. 

-Lil' Psycho 

From The Beat: it's important to have hope for something beyond your 
current situation. We understand your sknin\ou%ne%% in reconnecting with 
your friends, but we challenge to think about how you can maintain 
important friendships while staying out of this place. What can you 
and your homies do to stay within legal bounds? We think in your best 
interest, unless a level four prison yard is a part of your life, you must 
make a better choice upon your return home and leave the so-called 
homies who are so ready to pull you back down. 


Life is a b. 
Life is never fair. Life is full of risks, 

if it's worth it, take it. Love those 

who love you. But don't let love blind 

you. The truest shhh you can do is live 

life to the fullest. Do what you gotta do 

and never give up. Trust no one. 

- Celoso 

From The Beat: Like skn^one, your outlook on life speaks to the 
experiences you have gone through, 'n-ust is essential to forming and 
maintaining relationships, but is your willingness to trust based only 
on others' willingness to trust you? Sometimes it's necessary to trust a 
stranger before they can trust you. Do you agree? 

J L 



I've been racing quads for a few years now. I started 
racing in the AMA series at HoUister Hills and at local 

I tried to go pro so hard, I started racing a Honda 
250r and then a Honda 400ex. I raced those for almost 
two years until they both broke down within two months 
of each other. I sold them both and saved a little bit of 
money to buy a Honda 450r. After I got enough money to 
get the quad I continued racing. 

I met a guy named David S. in Morgan Hills through 
my cousin, my cousin said he raced quads pro in monster 
truck shows. I talked to him for a while and he invited me 
to a party at his house. 

I didn't see him after that for a while. I kept racing and 
practicing and one day I got a call from David, I remember 
that day perfectly, I was on my way home from Hollister 
Hills from practicing. He told me he didn't have enough 
people for his team to race on the weekend and he asked 
if I would come race with him. I was stoked when he asked 

I me if I would race with him. 
I went to Santa Rosa for the weekend to race in a 
monster truck show. I took over all third place for the 
weekend and David was first overall and he like how good 
I did so he asked if I'd join his team so I raced pro in 
Monster Truck Shows for a year on the west coast. 

I've been from Salinas all the way to Sacramento 
racing in Monster Truck Shows. Racing with the pros is a 
lot more fun, you get prize money and parts if you place 
high on some weekends. So all in all I achieved my goal 
on racing in the pros. 

I don't race right now but I'm looking to get back into 
it as soon as I gain my endurance back. 


From The Beat: You need to be out of here and back on the bike, if 
you've raced professionally, you obviously have a lot of talent. What 
are your plans in the future for racing? And how has racing affected 
you sk% a man? 

My bioyest accident 

lat I 


I Hey Beaters, this is Playboy once again. 
I'm gonna talk about one accident in my life. My 
accident occurred with my ex-lady. It was Oct. 25, 2006. 
I got locked up since then I can't get my mind off her. I 
got her pregnant and she started stressing and having 
emotional thoughts and feelings. Then she lost the baby, 
because of me being locked. It was my fault she lost it, 
but an accident. I want to say sorry to her, but I can't, 
because I'm in here. So that's my accident. 

I To all, stay up. 


From The Beat: Miscarriages are tragic accidents. One will never know 
what could have been. It takes a high level of maturity to take some 
responsibility for this event, but it's also important to realize that much 
of it was out of your control. Your lady clearly means a lot to you, so 
keep her close and make her a reason for getting and staying on the 


What makes me mad is the reason why I'm here. They 
got me in this unit for chasing a guy. Now all I can do is 
wait to go to trial. So that is what makes me mad. 

-Green Eyes 

From The Beat: Not to say what you did was or wasn't gang related, 
but for your information, in the government's effort to eradicate gangs, 
certain laws have gone too far and end up punishing those for whom 
the law was never meant. The root of the problem may be that the 
correctional system focuses on gangs rather than the reasons for why 
gangs even exist. Think about this for next week and let u% know what 
you think. 


//// // 


I achieve to try to get out of here. Maybe I'll come out on 
Monday Feb 11. I'll tell what happened. 

I was going to Maydolnos to get my girlfriend's 
mom some food. The people that went were me and my 
girlfriend's brother. 

When we got out of Maydolnos I was driving and there 
was a guy in the parking lot and my girlfriend's brother 
told me to stop. He shot him and I was scared. But the 
gun was plastic, it was a plastic bb and he shot him in the 
forehead. And when I went home the cops came to the 
house. And took him. And I came here. 

I'm going home on Monday. And my girlfriend is 
going to have a baby. I'm going to be a dad. So that's my 
achievement, to go home with my girlfriend. 


From The Beat: The real achievement would be going home and staying 
home, right? Now that you're going to be a father you have sin incredible 
responsibility for another human life, if you can't keep yourself out of 
trouble, Kevin, how are you fit to take care of somebody else's life? 


I think everybody should get a chance to vote, because 
I don't like the rules they're having and I think if felons 
were able to vote the rules will probably be different and 
all the immigrants will probably have better jobs than 
working in the fields or making holes in the dirt. 

Well that's all I got to say Beat. 

I just hate seeing the Raza suffering in the sun, 
working their asses off to survive. 

- Spider 

From the Beat: Have you ever voted on anything before? if so, how 
does it feel to have your voice heard? On the flip side, who would it 
feel not being allowed to do something that many people consider a 
human right? 

My Violent Step-Dad 




What up Beat, this is the Homie from Santa Clara County. 
And I'm going to talk about accidents. 

One accident that happened to me is being locked up. 
But you know what I did I did and I can't really care about 
what happens to me. I'm going to the Ranch and I hope 
to leave soon. So talk to you next time late. 

Your homie 


From The Beat: You can't really care about what's already happened to 
you, but you sure can care about what is happening and what might 
happen in the future. Sure, not everything of life is in our control, 
but that doesn't mean we should just let go and let the winds take u% 
wherever chance chooses. Take control, and be the captain of your 
future. When you leave and go to the ranch, and after you leave there, 
you will have choices to make. Think and think hard about making the 
right ones. 

se I 

)ns \ 

When I was younger I always used to get abuse by my 
step-dad. He was a punk. He always used to hit us for no 
reason. By us, I mean my older brother and I. I remember 
one time he beat my brother so bad someone on the block 
called the cops. My step-dad hit my brother for finding 
out where a Christmas present was. That was the most 
stupid reason to hit a little kid. My brother was only ten 
if I remember right! 

- Trey 

From The Beat: He's sick! What your stepdad did was truly stn outrage. 
But from these terrible situations, we can learn positive lessons and the 
value of loving relationships where each person is respected, if you're 
still able to keep in touch with your brother, help each other to grow 
and succeed. I 



I don't know what I've achieved this year, but I think it 
was being able to stay out as long as I did without getting' 
in trouble. Until a few days ago, I could have avoided by 
staying home with my lady but instead I went out and did 
it anyways which was stupid. I regret what I did and if I 
could go back in time I would change my action. I would 
have stayed home with my lady. 

My only thing I have to say is I'm sorry for what I have 
done and I would rather be dead than incarcerated. To 
not be able to go to the refrigerator when you want to or 
to the bathroom or even to go outside and take a breath 
of fresh air, it sometimes makes me wonder if I'll ever be 
able to open the front door and walk along or kiss my 
girlfriend goodnight. 


From The Beat: You can't change the past, but you can do whatever you 
want with the future. How do you think you can stay out permanently 
when you get released? is the thought of losing your girl enough? 

I whi 


TIlis One Accident 

" J 

I have been in many accidents but I am only going to talk 
about one. 

I was involved in a car accident. I was driving my 
girlfriend's car and was coming into Gilroy from Morgan 
Hill. I fell asleep on the wheel because I was awake since 
6:00am and I had to drive home and I was tired. I crashed 
into an electricity pole on Monterey Road in Gilroy. I 
surprisingly walked out of the accident with internal 
bleeding and my ribs were bruised. The car was totaled 
and they had to replace the pole. Now I pray and thank 
God that I'm still alive. 

- Larry 

From The Beat: it's wonderful that you were able to overcome that 
accident, and now live to pray and thank God for your life. Now the 
question is what you'll do with this life that has been preserved. You've 
learned that life should not be taken for granted, so go after the good 
life, in a safe and successful way. 

The car was totaled and thetf had 
to replace the pole. Now I prat/ and 
thank <^od that I'm still alive. 


Time goes by when you're locked up in a cell, 

time goes by and it's like you're in hell. 

During this time you get told you're a piece of shhh, 

just not knowing any better than this. 

Time goes by and you can't see your little brother. 

You maybe get one visit a week from your mother. 

During this time you get to read a book, 

that's all you could really do when you're livin' the life of 

a crook. 

During this time you think of doin' better, 

but you find out when you get out you just don't know 

anything better. 

- Thinkin' 

From The Beat: Are you sure you don't know anything better after 
getting out. Think about some of the good lessons you've learned 
recently, and look for places in your life to use them. And while you're 
in a hall, take advantage of your time. The good life doesn't have to 
start when you get out - you can reach for it now by making the right 
choices day by day. 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ msWMMMim^ i^ if / 

^mmsmM^mmim ^/^/ ^' 

Frustrating AcGidents 


I got in a car accident once. It wasn't that big of a 
deal, but the car didn't work afterwards. I got blamed for 
smoking weed. They wanted us to say who was at fault 
but nobody wanted to take the blame, so no one did. We 
all were blamed. 

One time I went for a run and a cop saw me. He 
thought I was running from doing something so he 
chased me, pulled me over, and asked me if I was involved 
in a stabbing. They called a victim witness and I was 


From The Beat: It must have been frustrating to be falsely accused, but 
you can avoid this situation by staying clear of activities and people 
that you know are trouble. If you hang with troublemakers, you can 
expect trouble. 

What Uplifts iVIe 


I go to my Mom, my Dad, and my girlfriend for hope. 
They give me things I need. Tell me things that bring me 
up when I'm feeling down. They turn my frown upside 
down. To me, these three people are all the love I need in 
life. Without their love, I don't know what I'd do. I know 
what I wouldn't have: I wouldn't have hope. They are my 
hope. I need them close to me. That's why sometimes it 
gets rough right here in the hall. They can't be close to 
me here. 


From The Beat: You are very lucky to have such supportive people in 
your life. What more motivation do you need to change? What will it 
take to make wiser choices? 

Iccileit While Intoiicited 


Once upon a time in Watsonville, I was running from the 
cops for no reason. I was drunk and I started running 
around my apartments. At first I was kind of scared 
because I didn't know why he was chasing me. I was 
running so fast and I was so drunk that I didn't see the 
metal fence. It seemed to come out of nowhere. I fell so 
hard that it opened up my eyebrow and it started bleeding. 
That was my accident. 


From The Beat: Getting drunk may seem like a fun thing to do, but you 
tell a story here that doesn't sound like fun. You were hurt and you 
got into trouble. This "accident" was not such stn accident; it was due 
to your choice to drink. How would you feel if you accidentally hurt 
someone else? You can choose to prevent it. 

Wliat i Saw Today 

Cruel voices fioating in the wind. 

A headless dog, eating carrion, whining. 

Five fat Vikings opening their lockers. 

A blind electrician replacing his fan belt. 

Two ants carrying a refrigerator. 

A square ball rolling down a hill. 

Children eating rotten bananas. 

Shoes worn on hands, pedaling a bike. 


From The Beat: Jackson, you're about the only guy we know who could 
see so many wondrous, strange sights, and all in one day. 


Four plus nine equals twenty-five. 
My world doesn't add up. 

From The Beat: And you're good with numbers, too. 



* I 


Bad Bike Accident 


I enjoy riding bikes. Once I was jumping for the first time 
in a place near the post office in Aptos. I had completed 
a set of four jumps that I hadn't done before. I went to 
do them the second time and... oh, the third jump! The 
face was a little off and I was going too fast. When I came 
down, I was leaning way too far forward and I stacked on 
my face, breaking my collar bone in half. 

After that, I tried to stand up but I couldn't. I needed 
three people to lift me up. I got a ride to the hospital. I 
remember sitting in the waiting room; pale and covered in 
dust from head to toe, for almost 45 minutes before they 
gave me a sling and sent me home. 


From the Beat: Wow! Quite the experience! It sounds like you have 
things at home that you really enjoy doing... riding your bikes; being 
with your friends. Stay clean and you can enjoy those things again. 
Just try not to break anything next time. 

Wiiat Gives Me Bope 

My mom gives me hope in this world and that's the only 
person I trust. I love her to death and I will never harm 
her or turn my back on her. 


From The Beat: We're sure that your mother misses you and wants you 
to be home with her. Is your love for her motivation enough to change 
your behavior, motivation enough to keep you out of juvy? 


fln Aciiievement 

I have not achieved many things in my life. One thing I 
have achieved is ending up in juvy. I really hate it in here. 
Everyday I have to deal with the most immature kids I 
have ever met in my whole life. There is this one kid who 
just says the stupidest things I've ever heard. The one 
thing I like is the food. Until next time... 


From The Beat: You're not the only guy who likes the food in Sstntsk 
Cruz juvy. One of these days we're going to have to invite ourselves 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ msWMMMim^ i^ if / 

^mmsmM^mmim ^/^/ /^ 


Everyone has a secret 

meant for no ears. 

We are a waste of space, 

ni£ixing our mom's tears. 

You think you have true friends 

until they are on the couch at home 

and you are headed to the pen. 

The fog is so thick 

I can't see my future. 


From The Beat: No fog around u% today. We're seeing a future where a 
young man named Ryan is writing fine, thoughtful poems. Good woric. 
We'd really love to see more. 




I sit in the remorse of my decisions. I stare into the night 
sky to try and understand these acute angles for which I 
am to carry out my time. I know now I have hitched a ride 
on the correct bus. 

See how the friends you know constantly have 
cigarettes protruding from their lips. I see this action as 
the silent scream for the soul to ask for help. Because 
I too have danced this dance of constant drama. I know 
nothing of those ways of life that are as soft as cotton. 

Now most likely, you are all sitting in your six by nine 
cells trying to maintain your shape, wishing to be in your 

Here is a helpful note: do the right thing. Choose your 
battles wisely and try to keep the doors to your future 



From The Beat: Yes, that is a helpful note, and one we hope you will 
apply to your own life. You're a good writer. We hope you're a good 
reader, too. Most writers write a lot and are voracious readers. Do you 
own a dictionary? A good dictionary is a writer's best friend. 

Car Accident 


A couple of years ago, I had a car accident. It really hurt 
my back. I don't want that to happen again. I was around 
10 years old, going to the store with my Dad and sister. 
We were at a red light when all of a sudden a car hit us. 
She thought it was a green light, so her car impacted us 
from behind. We didn't expect it; we were surprised. We 
pulled over, called the cops and then left after a while. 


From The Beat: We're glad that no one was hurt seriously. This is a 
good example of how not being aware of other people, and not paying 
attention to our actions, can cause harm. 

\ I 

i I 

In Iccidents 


I don't think that being at the hall right now is an accident. 
What got me here was a choice that I made outside. I've 
seen accidents. My friend didn't have anything to do with 
what I did on the outs but he's still going to have some 
charges for being involved with the rest of us. 


From The Beat- You are wise to admit to the wrong choices you have 
made. Now that you are aware of them, you can change those choices 
and not make the same mistakes. It sounds like you have some 
apologies to make. You also see now how your wrong choices affect 
other people. 

What Outrages You? 

Albert: The law. They don't like us because we're 


The Beat: What would you do differently if you were part 

of the legal system? 

Albert: I wouldn't lock people up. I'd get more counselors 

involved because my counselors have kept me out of the 

hall for a long time. They give good advice and take me 

on trips out of here. 

The Beat: Would you keep your promises on your own if 

you weren't locked up? 

Albert: Well, it is a lot harder on the outside because of 

peer pressure and drugs. It's good in a way to be here and 

away from all of that. 


From The Beat: It sounds like you have recognized the real problem: 
peer pressure and drugs. You're protected from them while being locked 
up. But what will happen when you're back on the outs? It takes a lot 
of strength to %x^ no to your friends. And we hear that you're a strong 
fellow, a good athlete. But remember - your life isn't a game. You don't 
get to play it over and over. This is it, and if you want it to be better 
than it's been, you must make better choices. 


I Spit My Name 

I'm lurkin' in the fed Cadillac. 

I might go sell a dub sack. 

They call me psycho Zack 

I think about the days 

I sold crack. 

But now I'm just a mac. 

I spit my name, Zack. 

-Baby Boy 

From The Beat: Zack - we cut your piece, and would have cut the whole 
thing, given this is a fantasy we don't want to encourage. Drop the 
tough guy mask. You are skn intelligent fellow with a problem. You can 
begin to solve it by quitting the games. It will take a lot of honesty and 
a lot of strength to face and conquer your problem. We know you can 
do it. You've got the tools. Do you have the %en%e of purpose you'll need 
to go with that big brain of yours? We think the answer is "yes". That^ 
wfhat wre wrant to believe. Prove vk% right, for your sake. 


Accident While High 


I was a young teen at the time and I lived in Aptos. I was 
getting into bad things with my life. I mean that I started 
getting into drugs. I was very young when I took my first 
hit. I was at my homie's house. I did the same thing as 
he did. It was so stupid, it was funny. I hit his fish tank 
because I thought his fish were going to attack me. My 
friend got mad and told me to go home. So I walked home, 
accidentally walked into the street and almost got hit by 
a car. 


From The Beat: We bet there have been plenty of "accidents" you almost 
got into when you were high. You're probably lucky to be walking 
around. It's hard enough to avoid accidents when we have all our wits 
about u%. Why tempt fate, Juan. Life is better without the drugs. Do you 
have a serious problem? If so, have you sought help? Help is available 
. for those who ask. 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ mMMi/m 

^mmsmM^mmim ^/// // 

sen I 

The Hurt, The Guilt 

Yeeee, wliat's good, Beat? You know who tliis is — Queen 
Bee! Back for tlie flftli time. Stupid lil' slilili I do to get 
cauglit up. This time I wasn't alone, I brought someone 
with me. It was a boy (not my boyfriend, but one I wish 
could be.) 

It all happened when I snuck out to go perk. He was 
there looking so cute. He picked me and ma gurl up 
downstairs in the parking lot. We went to the park and 
hella people was there — basically all my brother's friends. 
I wanted to perk, so I wasn't tripping who was there. 

That boy was pretty quiet at first, but he opened up. 
We snuck outta the crowd and went for a walk. It was 
kinda awkward, 'cause we was both really quiet, but I 
broke the silence. We pretended to be lost in the forest. 
When my brother called his phone, he said everybody 
was going to leave us (me and that boy.) We just ignored 
him and turned off the phone. We weren't really lost in 
the forest, we were just up the hill, talking. Time passed 
by and five hours went by. It was two in the morning. I 
decided to spend the night at his place. 

A week went by and I fell in love. To be continued... 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: Since you write you've been in juvy five times, what are 
you doing to your own life? Freedom? Education? Family? Future? You 
share the night you met your new boy friend, or not, but what do we 
learn from this? We wonder if you were safe that night? You do not 
sound smart sk% to how you handled that situation to u%. How do your 
parents feel about you spending the night away from home? Would you 
want your child to live the life you are leading some day? 

What Glues loi Hipe? 


Well, to be honest, I give myself hope. That may sound 
kind of strange or conceited or arrogant, but when I say 
that I give myself hope, I mean that I believe in myself. 

Instead of trying to find security in someone or 
something else, instead I look within myself. When you 
try to fall back onto either someone or something that 
is "external," you can be disappointed. But if you look 
within yourself, if you trust in yourself, you'll never be let 
down. You can always count on yourself if you're true to 
yourself. That's real. 


From The Beat: You've already learned a lot for your young age. It can 
be shocking for a young person when s/he realizes that someday s/he'll 
have to totally take care for and be responsible for her/himself. What 
about life, itself, gives you hope? What intrigues you? What do you 
want to learn/accomplish? What are your dreams for your life? 


Outrage is a big word and strong, too 

Means a lot to me 

I get outraged when people talk shhh 

And don't front it 

It outrages me when I get blamed for other people's BS 

It outrages me that my mom protects her boyfriend, but 

not me 

It outrages me that my dad just walked away 

It outrages me when my PO shows up to school 

Because I know that means "back to the halls" 

And that outrages me 


From The Beat: We can feel how much you hurt. Can you still talk to 
your dad, hang with him, even though he doesn't live with you? Have 
you told your mom you don't think it's fair that she's more loyal to her 
boyfriend than she is to you? Maybe she should defend whoever she 
thinks is right in each situation, sometimes her boyfriend, sometimes 
you. If your PO shows up at school to get you, who is that on? Does your 
own behavior ever sabotage and outrage you? 

Get Real Outrages 


( I 

Listen up! I got somethin' to say. The Beat Within 
is totally gay. You write stupid things for an hour and 
then someone types them up. All they say is the same 
thing — "I'm locked up," "the food sucks," "I miss my girl" 
or "guy." They are really saying that just so people don't 
really know that they can't get nothing, because all they 
do is drugs and steal shhh, so that just proves it! They 
say they're sorry, but they really ain't. All they want is to 
think they have learned a lesson, but I know they really 
haven't. They just want out! 

Another thing is, "I've been harassed by cops for no 
not it. 

I've been abused by a cop. I was tased and all I did 
was have weed. Cops are not that stupid to lose their 
jobs. They only tase if you run or fight. So get a life. Stop 
wasting everyone's time. That's for the inmates that do 
the same shhh 200 times. 

I know I'm not perfect, but at least I try and I don't 
blame others for my crimes. I know I need to do better 
and I know that I can, so everyone who writes that shhh 
can sit and rot in a jail cell. So stop wasting time, 'cause 
you will be caught whether it's ten minutes or 100 years, 
you will be caught, so unless you want to rot in prison, 
stop stealing shhh and doing drugs and killing people, 
even if they deserve it. 

And The Beat Within should stop promoting that 
shhh. Start a publication that teaches to read and write 
real English, not slang. 

-Cowardly Lion 

From The Beat: If someone in juvy with you writes that he was tased 
by a policeman, we at The Beat and you probably don't know really if 
what he wrote was true, but it may be, so, actually, who can judge? Why 
did the policeman tase you? Did you run or try to fight him? Why don't 
you write stn essay for The Beat that describes your experience with 
police — whether they were fair to you or not? And/or write skn essay 
about a time when you messed up and took responsibility for it? What 
exactly, do you think The Beat is promoting that you don't approve of? 
Pease never feel pressured to write us. We don't need your thoughts if 
you are this arrogant. We try to replicate the spirit and the language of 
whatever each young person writes in juvy for The Beat, the way they 
specifically want to express it, without judging whether it is or should 
be written in street talk, slang, or proper English. I 

Probation Don't Help 


The halls is boring, like the library 

And it seems like I dug myself deeper than a quarry 

This is buUshhh, probation officer tryna run yo' life and 

be yo' stepdaddy 

The schoolhouse playin' me. I ain't gone never go back 

to a normal high school 

They must think I'm a fool, but I'm not. I know what 

they tryin to do. I ain't dumb 

I thought probation was to help you, but I thought wrong 

All probation done for me is get me in trouble — that's on 

mamma's bro 

I can't even go on vacation, 'cause probation 

But it's nothin'. I ain't lettin' them take me down, 


I'm so tired of this shhh, everyday ya boy wakin' up, 


But I'm gonna end this on a good note 

Whoever understands what good, I just sayin', "Keep ya 

head up!" 


From The Beat: What do you think probation is trying to do to you? No, 
what did you do to get put on probation? Why can't/won't you go back 
to a "normal" high school? So even though it must be maddening to 
have your PO controlling your life on the outs for awhile, at least you'll 
be almost free, and earning your total freedom will be up to you. 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ mMMi/m 

^mmsmM^mmim ^/^/ // 

What Outrages Me 

What Outraoes Me 


I hate sittin' in my room. I feel like Fm a caged animal 
and no matter what I do or how hard I try, I can't get out. 
No cigarettes, no family, no nothing, and the worst part is 
Fm in here for something I didn't do. That's why you fight. 
That's why you hate. 

-The One 

From The Beat: The worst part of being in juvy must be feeling iiice 
you're trapped iiice skn animal, and, really, you are. Why don't you 
describe exactly what it feels Iiice to become skn animal, loclced up, and 
basically at the mercy of the authorities who run the system? Put in 
your fears, humiliations, loneliness, hate, whatever goes on in your 
heart, your imagination, while you're in juvy. So what will it talce to 
get out and stay out? 

Today the people from placement came to pick me up. 
They were supposed to pick me up yesterday. Anyways, I 
changed into my regular clothes and I was hella happy. 

I have only been in here four months, but I was hella 
happy. Right when I was about to walk out, they tell me 
to wait. The stupid lady that came to pick me up got mad 
because she didn't want to take five minutes to go to the 
pharmacy and get me my meds, so she just left and left 
me here. I got hella mad and had to change back to the 
clothes from the halls. 

At first no placements wanted to accept me, now this. 
I was only out four days before I got locked up the second 
time, which is right now. So, basically, Fve been locked 
up for five months. 

Today is Valentine's Day and being rejected from 
placement felt like being rejected by a lady. Fm still mad 
as I write this. 

-The Real Sneaky 

From The Beat: Does this lady from placement leaving you in juvy mean 
that you're now rejected by that placement? Or does she or someone else 
from that placement have to drive bade to picic you up? It sounds Iiice 
you have no control over getting your meds together in order to leave 
for placement, so why don't you call or write the placement supervisor 
and explain what happened? No wonder you're mad. 

Drugs Will Blur Your Life \^ [ 

Life is too short 

So live while you can 

Don't do drugs, 'cause yo' life will blur 

Next thing you know, you tawkin' wit' a slur 

Your brain won't work 

Even if you only perk 

If you like holes in your brain 

Then keep poppin' them thangs 

If you want sinus problems 

Cluck it — do cocaine 

Get addicted and you'll never be the same 

Go ahead, try some crack 

Then just to get it, you'll find yourself on the track 

You don't wanna life like that — it's whack 

Just writing this, I get fiashbacks 

And it's a disgrace 

The way I dressed and my dirty face 

So I think I'm gonna be sober just for today 

And tomorrow I'll do the same 

Don't sleep 


From The Beat: Nice poem! And wise! Why don't you write a serious 
essay for The Beat about what drugs caused you to do that now you 
thinic is wacic, how you over came them, and what you're going to do 
or not do when you're free again to stay away from them? You have a 
lot to teach your Beat readers who are facing what you've already been 
through, so can you help them out with some of the wisdom you've 


CIS For Gold 


G is for gold, my valued possession 

G is for gorgeous facial expression 

G is for a great teacher who taught me a lesson 

G is for gigantic is how our love is stretching 

G is for "Go 'head!" 

G is for grievancy lead 

G is for growing red dreads 

G is for "Go, baby, to bed" 

F is for "forget" that 

F is for "forget" this and that 

F is for "forget" that! I'm a mac 

F is for "forget" you, 'cause I'm black 

F is for "forget $1; I need a rack 

F is for famous 

F is for fiossy 

F is for "forget" that beezy bossy 

F is for freezing, 'cause my chain frosty 

F is for forgetful, on how you lost me 


From The Beat: You suggest a lot of things that must be on your mind in 
this poem, any of which you could really expand upon? What about how 
that person who was forgetful lost you? That does happen, especially 
when you're young and your life is careening so fast, it can go out of 
control and people who aren't around, maybe because they're stuck in 
juvy, get let behind. It's sad, even tragic, when anybody loses someone s/ 
he loves for any reason, but especially so, when it's because that person 
is so plummeting downhill so fast that s/he is losing him/herself. 

/ was OMiif out four 
daifs hefore l^ot locked 
up the second time... 


Yol Can't Hear M) Heart 

So far apart 

You can't hear my heart 

And I can't hear yours 

Your lips so warm 

You hug so sweet 

The fire between us 

Builds up heat 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: We hope he'll influence you to stay cool and free, when 
you're out again! 


liuder The lufluence 

I was in a mini van. I was driving in Fillmore in San 
Francisco. I was driving drunk and high. The night 
before, I got no sleep. While I was driving, I could barely 
see anything. Every stoplight I had my eyes closed. It was 
on green. My friends say I go, but I didn't go 'til the third 
time they said it. I keep driving. I went downhill. The sofa 
in the back came up. I could not step on the brake and 
crashed into a car, then I got out and ran. 


From The Beat: What a mess! Careless too. Of course you do not have a 
driver's license, right? So did you get caught? Is that why you're in juvy 
now? Did your friends, you, or stnyone in the car you hit get hurt? How 
grateful are you in your heart that nobody, including you, died because 
of you? What lessons did you learn? 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ mMMi/m 

^mmsmM^mmim ^/^/ ^^ 

A Cop Tased Me 

One time, when I was nine, I went to the store and the dude 
I was with stole some Kool Aid and they got him on camera. 
We was walking down the street and the cop had pulled up 
on the curb and told us to put our hands in the air and not 
to move. Instead of putting my hands in the air, I put my 
hands in my pockets to get my receipt because he accused 
us of shoplifting. My friend broke on me, and then the cop 
tased me. It was like that — tat tat tat tat. He shocked me and 
I shook, I fell, and he took me home and I can't remember 
anything else. He thought I was going to shoot him. 

Then I was on the Queen's Highway. The cop took me 
home and he said he was sorry, I guess, "'cause I thought 
I shocked you.'" My friends were all laughing at me. This 
happened in Miami over the summer, three years ago. I felt 
discriminated because he was a white cop. 


From The Beat: It must have been hugely scary and painful to be tased 
by a policeman, especially when you were so young. Why were your 
friends laughing at you? How did your parents react? Were you and your ■ 
friend who stole the Kool aid, then split, still friends after that? I 

My Music Gives Me Hope 


I don't really know what gives me hope. My music gives 
me hope, I guess. Whenever I get angry or upset, and just 
want to give up, just the beat of the music, the rhythm, 
calms me down and gives me power to not give up, I 

-Queen Bee 

From The Beat: Music is so powerful. It carries a lot of strength. It can 
uplift us and it can also make us sad. 


My Sister Gives Me Hope 

What gives me hope is my sister, she helps me a lot and 
she's been there for me when my mother wasn't. 

Like now my mom just up and left, sometimes I feel 
like why she had me if she wasn't going to take care of 

It's like my sister is my mom, and I love her, but I love 
my mom. I just don't understand whey she abandon me, 
and now only my sister visits me here in the D-home. My 
sister is the one that keeps my head up, and makes me 
feel good so that is what gives me hope. 

- Rastice 

From The Beat: First it^ good to know that your sister has stepped up to 
help you out in stny way she can, but it is to bad that your mother has 
"abandon" you this way. Know one thing, what your mother has done is 
not your fault. It is your mother that has to work through the issues she 
is going through. Keep your head up you will get through this. 




\ I 

Why is she so stupid? 

Why would she put a letter by her shoe? 

They say it's my fault 

But she the one that got caught 

She hella dumb for putting it by her shoe 

Why is she not smart? 

Why she try and act like a bop? 

Why? Why? Why? 

Ma, ma, ma my beezie 

It's over 
Unless you get smarter 


From The Beat: It sounds like you were the one who wrote this young 
lady the letter she put by her shoe, right? Whether you were in school, 
in juvy, wherever, if sending or handing her a letter was against the 
rules, then doesn't that make you just sk% not smart sk% you say she was? i 
Why not take responsibility for your roll in this mess? She might respect I 
and even like you for it. I 

My Giri Wiii Be Waiting Fop Me \ 

I'm disappointed that I'm not getting out today. I wanted 1 
to get out and do something special for Valentine's Day 
with my girl, but is all good. I'll do my time like nothing, 
get out, and get back to the block, and I know she'll be I 
waiting for me. | 


From The Beat: What you write may be real, but is going straight back 
to the block really a good idea? Does hanging on the block enhance or 
sabotage your life, or both? Are you in juvy right now because of the 

L streets? What does the block do for your girlfriend? Do you two have J 
skny lives beyond the block? I— i 

\ I 

! I 

Outsile Support 

What gives me hope is when my family answers my calls. 
They make me feel like they'll pick me up when ever I fall. 
When I get mad because I'm in a bad situation they tell 
me to calm down, and I got to be patient. 

The only thing that keeps me stable and motivated is 
their words and their voices. They give me advice on what 
I should do so I could pick the right choice. They keep me 
informed on what's really going on, looking after my son 
since his daddy's not at home. I think you and appreciate 
all that you do for me. 

To my family I love you all whether I'm in jail or on the 
streets. Much love. 

- Reggie 

From The Beat: It is good that you recognize your family for everything 
they do for you. Now its time to step up to the plate and stay out of jail 
this way you can appreciate them even more. 

God Gives Me Hope 

What gives me hope is, God, when shhh gets hard I pray. 
I try to go to church as much as possible, and also my 
daughter she gives me more hope then anything else. 
When it seems like I don't have anything, at least I still 
got her, and even when shhh get hard I know I have to do 
for her. 

It don't really give me hope, but I like to listen to 
music it calms me down. 

- Kalee 

From The Beat: Remember you can't just turn to "God" when life gets 
tough, do it all the time. If you don't change your ways and stay out of 
jail, you may find yourself fighting to keep custody of your daughter. 
Don't give the state that chance; change your ways now before it is too 
late for you and your child. 

//// // 

Cuando Venia Para Aca 

X f 

Cuando venia de Hondura para aca, me asaltaron en 
Guatemala. Despues cuando cruce Mexico, camine por 
unos dias y sufri mucho porque aveces aguantaba hambre, 
frio, sed y ademas de eso me arriesgue en el tren que me 
cortara una parte del cuerpo. 

Yo vine a este pais a superar y tengo la fe en Dios y la 
Virguencita que yo confio en ellos. Yo se que Dios me va 
ayudar y ojala que me esuche. 

From The Beat: Ojala te escuche y te de e%sk oportunidad. ^Crees que te 
la merezcas? ^Crees que esta vez aprovecharas la oportunidad si te la 
dan? £Estas seguro? 

When I Was On My Way Here 

When I was coming from Honduras, they robbed me in 
Guatemala. When I was crossing Mexico, I walked for a 
few days and I suffered so much because I had to deal 
with hunger, coldness, and risking to loose a part of my 
body when getting on a train. 

I came to this country to succeed and I have faith in 
God and the Virgin that they are going to help me. I know 
God will listen to me and I hope He does. 

-Denis, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We hope He listens and give you that chance. Do you 
deserve it though? Will you take advantage of it if it was given to you? 
Are you sure? 

\ I 

Hicia los Estilos Uiidis 

Mi historia del recorrido hacia los Estados Unidos. Sali 
de mi casa buscando otra mejor vida. Lo que les quiero 
contar es que pase un camino bien diflcil aguantando sed 
de agua, frio, hambre etc. 

Gracias a Dios ya estoy aqui en los Estados Unidos 
y quisiera ayudarle a mi familia en lo principal. Tambien 
quisiera prosperar en hacer mi casa y ayudar a mi hijo. 

From The Beat: Tanto que sufristes para caer a este lugar. £Te arrepientes 
haber tirado todo por un dinero facil que provino de gente lastimada 
por las drogas? Recuerda que todo se paga en la vida. Todo los actos 
traen consecuencias. Recuerdalo siempre! 

Tnwards United States 

This is the story about my journey to the U.S. I left my 
house looking for a better life. What I want to share with 
you is that I suffered from thirst, cold, and hunger, etc. 

Thank God I am here in the U.S and I want to help 
my family in their principals needs. I want to succeed in 
building a house and helping my son out. 

-Juan, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You suffered so much to end up in this place. Do you 
regret losing it all for esksy money that was taken from people who are 
addicted to drugs? Remember that everything is payable in life. Every 
action has its consequences. Always remember that! 



LuGliando Per La Vida 


Hey, what's cracking Beat! Soy Snoopy otra vez, escribiendo 
para ustedes. Ahora les voy a escribir de que si vale la pena 
luchar por mi vida. La verdad es que aveces no tengo ganas 
de luchar o seguir adelante. Por eso nadie viene a visitarme 
y aveces creo que se han olvidado de mi. 

Mi corazon y Dios me dice que siga adelante, que me 
pare, trate de salir lo mas rapido posible de aqui. Yo siento 
que mi vida se merece una oportunidad. Es la primera vez 
que me encierran y quisiera una segunda oportunidad. Yo 
lucho y me paro pensando que voy a salir adelante de aqui. 
Lucho con mi vida para volver a la escuela, tratar de ser 
alguien en la vida y poder ver a mi novia por ultima vez. 

Me acuerdo cuando hablo con mi novia y me dice que 
siga adelante que me va a esperar. Me dice que no le importa 
lo que ella espere y que me esperara. Eso dice ella eso me 
dan ganas de salir adelante. 

From The Beat: Estamos seguro que tendras e%sk segunda oportunidad. 
No estaras ahi toda tu vida. £Si te llegan a dar e%sk segunda oportunidad, 
crees que seras alguien diferente? Tienes que estar seguro de lo que 
realmente quieres. Aqui hay muchos que han dicho lo mismo, y despues 
de la primera vez han venido aqui varias veces. No permitas que eso te 
pase a ti. Lucha por tu vida y se una persona de bien. Se nota atravez de 
tu escrituras que no perteneces a estos lugares. Busca los lugares donde 
deberias de estar. Suerte! 

Fnghtino fnr Life 

Hey What's cracking Beat! I'm Snoopy once again just writing 
for you. I'm going to write about if It's worth fighting for my 
life. The truth is that sometimes I don't have the motivations 
to fight to succeed. That's why I don't get any visits and that 
makes me feel as if they have forgotten me. 

My heart and God tells me to succeed, to get up, and 
to try to get out of here as soon as possible. I think my life 
deserve another chance. This is my first time locked up and I 
would like a second chance. I fight and I get up thinking that 
I will succeed out of here. I fight for my life to come back 
home, to try to be somebody in life and be able to see my girl 

I remember when I talk to my girl and she tells me to 
move on and that she'll wait for me. She tells me that it 
doesn't matter how long she'll way, and she'll just wait for 
me. This is what she says which give me strength to move 

-Edgar, San Francisco 
From The Beat: We are sure that you will get that second chance. You 
won't be there your whole life. If you get that second chance, would you 
be someone different? You have to be sure of what you really need. In 
here, there are many who have said the exact words you have, and they 
have come here many times after their first time. Don't le this happen to 
you. Fight for your life and be a good person. Throughout your writing, 
we can notice that you don't belong here. Find the places where you 
really belong. Good luck! 

Mi Madre 

Tengo sentimientos hacia mi madre. Me siento feliz con 
mi madre porque me quiere y me da alimento en mi vida. 
Ella me quiere y me da vida. 

Yo voy a ayudarla en la casa con mi hermano. Tambien 
ayudarla conmigo mismo. Voy a regresar a la escuela 
porque me gusta mucho. 

From The Beat: £Y tu que le das por todo lo que ella te da? 

M]f Mother 


I have good feelings toward my mother. I feel happy with 
her because she loves me and feed me with food. 

I'm going to help her at home and my brother too. 
I also want to help myself for her. I'm going back home 
because I like it. 

-Sebastian, San Francisco 

From The Beat: And what are you giving back to her for all she has 
done to you? 

^//////// ///////, sHMMMMm/mm 




I was in a deep sleep on my bed 

Awakened by the lights 

"Five minutes 'til breakfast" 

Is heard through the mike 

So I quickly get up, brush my teeth and wash my face 

Time to line up, square it on my door 

Silent walk to central dining 

Everybody still half asleep 

I'm steady looking around 

Watchin' if someone's tryna creep 

Same old nasty food 

This shhh never gets good 

I don't expect it to 

Just sometimes I think it should 

After eating, it's back to my cell 

Nothing to do but to kill time 

So I straighten up my room, ready to clean it 

Waiting for the same mop bucket 

That everyone uses to come to my room 

Awaiting so I must work out 

I bust down with a series of modified burpies 

Pounding up down my chest 

As I come up or go down 

Set after set, trying to program 

And get in the best shape I can 

After about 1 1/2 hours of working out 

My door is propped open for me to clean my room 

Change my sheets, blanket and robe 

Exchange my hygiene, get everything I need 

And clean anything else that needs cleaning before I mop 

I finish mopping, time to close my door 

Sit down on my desk, write a letter 

Draw something 

Tryna kill time 'til the fioor dries 

Make my bed 

Now it's time for lunch... as I sit and eat, 

I look around, absorb my surroundings, as anger builds 

up in my head 

I feel my tension in my jaw and my forehead 

Wondering why people around me, most of them laughing, 


Having a good ol' time 

Maybe I've been here too long 

Can't hardly seem to crack a joke 

Even when I'm out, I'm always angry for no specific reason 

Mad at everybody, mad at the world! 

So after lunch, it's back to my room 

Again I bust down, take a masa 

And wait to see if we're going to come out for LMA 

If not, just work out in my room. 

Get my pack and get ready for showers. 

Wait until my door buzzes open to shower 

Come back to my room. 

Get dressed, do my hygiene and wait for dinner 

Conversate with me cellie, talkin' 'bout some buUshhh 

Nothin' productive 

Time for dinner 

Time to collect what people owe me 

Staff tryna console me 

But ain't nada getting through to this vato's head 

In one ear and out the other 

I don't see why they bother with me any more 

I ain't going to change or care 

After dinner, in my room 

I try to take a lil' nap, wake up 

Then, finally I'm out my room 

To kick it and chill with my Raza and the homies 

I got two hours of rec time, always get cut short 

We get an hour if we lucky 

Staff always tryna play us 

Lazy as hell 

Soon enough I'm back in my room 

Bust down with my roommate 

It's my work, to work out 

Don't stop 'til they turn off the lights 

And I can't go any more 
Cross out another day off the calendar 
Lay on my bed, but I can't go to sleep 

Could be out with my homeboys or some females 

But instead I'm locked down in a cell 

I toss and turn at night 

Demons attack me in my sleep, hearing people cry 

Wondering things, just asking, "Why?" 

I've been given many answers, answers that create more 


So much I got in my head. 

Wondering why I'm not dead 

I'm never awake 

Just stuck in this nightmare 

I, myself, have created 

-Speedy Vicious 

From The Beat: We can't begin to tell you how powerful your words are, 
how deeply they must affect sknyone who reads them — and how deeply 
the reality of what you describe is affecting you. Asking questions that 
create more questions is the essence of philosophy, of science, of art. 
The Greek philosopher Socrates wrote (2500 years ago), 'The unexamined 
life is not worth living..." (just before he died in prison). TWo of your 
questions jump out at us, and we think they are worthy of your great 
mind. The first is, why the counselors (or anyone) even bothers to talk to 
you since you "aren't going to change." (Oh, how powerfully we disagree 
with that conclusion!) The second is why you're still alive. Why do we 
bother with you? Do we see something that you cannot? Why are you still 
alive? Does God see something that you cannot? You may be stuck in a 
nightmare of your own creation, but — like an old vinyl record that sticks 
on a scratched groove — your life can be jarred past that sticking point 
and begin again its forward motion to fulfill a destiny far greater than 
you now believe possible. 

rm mver awaKe 
/, mi/se/f, have created 

A New Beginning 

It's now the 8th 

And time is going slower 

Towards my change in fate 

And leave part of my life in closure 

This experience has taught me much 

About decisions, education and jobs 

What I need to appreciate 

Like my girlfriend's touch 

Now I shall join the endless mobs 

Of people always moving, running about 

Focusing on everything 

Living in doubt 

A world of making, faking and shaking 

The boat (so to speak) 

A life of evil and good 

Such a big feat 

To do as one should 

Here I go into guessing 

Uncertainly, of course 

And nothing short of death 

Will make me fall short 

Of the standards I set 

For myself 


From The Beat: We're embarrassed trying to rhyme/'Cause you're better 
at it, time after time/But we icnoiw a feiv things about "living in doubt"/ 
Which could be described sk% freedom^ shout/Keep moving with open 
mind and open heart/T>«asure the gifts that set you apart/Those 
"standards" you've set make you a seeker/Transforming boy into man, 
student into teacher 

i Was Dead But Now Reborn 

I told my mom I was sorry for the very first time 
She was speechless for a moment, and then started to 


For the first time in my life I felt really good about 


No more drugs 

If I continue this mess, then I go back to the place 

I was in "hell" 

My mom told me she loved me 

And then, at that moment, now I can see 

Good things running through the back of my mind in 

just one blink 

I told her I loved her, too 

Everything I was saying to her was true 

I told her, " Everything is going to be all right" 

She was so happy, and then continued to cry 

She was so happy and told me that I had changed 

I told her, "I did change, and I am not ashamed" 

She said, when I get out, she's going to push me 

Until my life turns around 

I was so happy, but my mom's proud 

The last words I told her, were 

"Mom, I always thought I was dead to everybody 

But now I know it's a new beginning of time 
For I am now reborn and the start of a new life" 

-Lir Laylow 

From The Beat: We are trying to reconcile the two "Lif Layiow"s we 
find in today's Beat. The first can think of nothing but hitting the 
bottle, poppin' the pill, smokin' the chop, and that Lil' Laylow can only 
disappoint the Lil' Laylow that is revealed in the is wonderful expression 
of rebirth! Don't disappoint your mother. But even more important, don't 
disappoint yourself. They say that "today is the first day of the rest of 
your life." We hope you prove this to be true. 



Like beads of rain 

On my widow pane 

These tears of shame 

Are still the same 

Nothing I can do 

Will make it up to you 

You have no clue 

But I'm saying it anew 

I hurt you bad 

It makes me sad 

As far as you know 

No clouds can show 

I don't want to be the rain 

That fiows through the drain 

I'm sorry for what I did 

I was being such a kid 

That will never make it right 

But I'm bringing it to sight 

Know that I love you 

Trying to pay my due 

I can't ever tell 

I'll take it to hell! 

The knowledge would hurt 

The delivery so curt 

It would break you down 

That I can't allow... 

Now I tell a lie 

Hope it won't show in my eyes 

"I've never cheated on you" 

Am I a fool? 


To be blessed 

With someone who loves 

Like sweet morning doves 

Your whisper in my ear 

Calms my inner fear 

Maybe I tried to destroy it 

Throwing a fit, trying to dispose it 

Being the one on the other side 

Like a pesticide 

To eat away the good 

Something I should 

And will never do again 

Forgive me, I'm a guy 

Susceptible (yet, less so now) to my 

Inner desires 


From The Beat: We have already told you many times that you possess a 
rare set of obvious skill with words and self-expression combined with 
a heart brimming with humanity and humility. Such gifts cannot be 
overstated. We cannot tell you what is the right thing to do in relation 
to this transgression against the girl you love. We know you will find 
the right thing to do in that great heart of yours. We also hope that you 
will maintain a relationship with The Beat Within long after you have 
left this place and pursue your destiny. Your words always add grace 
to this publication, and that is something for which we will always 
grateful to you. 

/ told Wf wow I was sorrif 

for the verif first tiwe 

She was speechless for a wowent, and then 

started to crif 

for the first tiwe Itt wif life I felt realli/ good 

ahout wifself 


^//////// ///////, sHMMMMm/mm 


W/// ' f^ff/^ 


The tn^th of a ga^gsta Is that 
we hide what we most love. 

The Truth 

To the judge, Fm a ward of the court 

To my dad, Fm his son 

To my mom, Fm nothing 

To my liF iDrother, Fm a gangbanger 

To my girl, Fm her love 

To my lawyer, Fm a guilty guy 

To my teacher, Fm a mess up 

To the 5/0, Fm a criminal 

But on the real, Fm a human who's in love 

On the real, every time you with your homeboys 

You say that you don't care about your girl 

That she's nothing to you but a game 

But, homie, don't lie to yourself, you always have her on 

your mind 

And no matter what, you're always thinking of her all 

the time 

Saying the truth is not easy, being locked up is not a 


Homeboys, I know you feel the same 

Now Fm here in my room waiting to get transferred to 

a group home. You tell everyone that it's nothing. Deep 

inside, you don't mean it. Every time you in here, you 

say you don't care about no one. But deep inside, you 

are always thinking of the people you love. You tell your 

homeboys you stopped smoking because you don't feel 

the same. But on the real, you made a promise to your 

girl that you was not going to smoke anymore because 

you love her. But you're always trying to keep it on the 

down low. 

The truth of a gangsta is that we hide what we most love 

Baby, you just an angel sent from above 

Only God knows why he sent you my way 

Ever since we met, you cared 

No matter what, you been there 

By why do ninjas hate? 

Just because, baby 

You chose me to be your date 

Ninjas, it time for you to move on because you're late 

The truth of a gangsta is that you love your girl with all 

your heart 

But you just don't show it because you think it shows 


But, homie, keep it trill 

Homie, just tell yourself that you love her and keep it 


Now my girl is what everything is all about 

Homie and Baby, Fm out 


From The Beat: This is a fascinating exploration of love, combining 
prose and poetry in a wonderful way. What it seems to u% that you're 
saying is that, despite all the different perceptions of people who see 
you from their own points of view, you are really just a boy in love 
with a girl, and that^ the oldest story in history. One thing for sure, 
though, you are so right when you say it's late and time to move on. 
You're ready to leave the life that leads to lock-ups behind you, Johnny, 
and to focus on the real treasure in your life. \tt late, it's time to move 
on. Well done! 

I I 


Vicious Nigiitmare in My Sieep 

I had a dream the other night. I dreamt that I went to 
prison. After doing a dozen plus years, I was paroled out. I 
was so excited to be released. I took the Greyhound home, 
enjoyed my bus ride. I could almost taste the freedom, so 
I made it home, settled in lightweight. 

Was out for about a week. My dad was having a party 
for me at my house. He didn't tell anybody I was out. He 
wanted it to be a surprise. People started arriving. 

I went unnoticed. Didn't think much of it at first, until 
my two aunts and grandma come through the door. As 
they walked in, my dad stood beside me. My aunt's face lit 
up and her arms swung open as to give a hug, approaching 
me, so I, too, opened my arms. She passed right past me 
to hug my dad. My second aunt followed to hug him, too, 
and looked at me as to say, "Who's that?" 

It was as if the party stopped. Everyone was quiet and 
still, music off, all eyes on me. As my grandma stood in 
front of me, staring, observing me, then my dad spoke 
out, "You don't know who that is?" She thought and 
responded, shaking her head, "No!" "Freddy!" my dad 
said. "Freddy?" She thought, as people, my family began 
to whisper, trying to figure out who I was. My eyes closed 
shut as the teardrops fell down my face. I awakened and 
there they rolled down my cheeks, but it felt so real. I 
don't understand... I was forgotten, erased from their 

Many dreams like this I have. I know I should change, 
but ain't willing to make that decision. I'm addicted and 
unwilling. Vicious, ain't it? 

I -Speedy Vicious 

From The Beat: As we told you when you wrote and read this piece 
aloud, it is a powerful message, a fear welling up deep inside you that, 
unless change comes, you are leaving behind the most precious gift 
of all, the love of family. The fact that you are wrestling with your 
addiction (to the "cause," to the streets, to the gang) and your love (of 
mAnX%, cousins, parents, freedom) tells u% that something very important 
is going on in your brain, something which you cannot control. All we 
can do is hope that you do not allow this dream of you fading from 
memory to come true. Your dreams come straight out of your own brain, 
your own thinking. Listen carefully to what they are trying — what you 
are trying — to tell yourself! 

ou I 

World We Kiow 


The world we know on the upper lucky side, where most 
of my people don't really know, there's riches, wealth, joy, 
peace, and pain. 

The lower side, somewhere I'm pretty familiar with, is 
livin' in poverty, struggle, pain, joy and lust. 

The differences I see are few, separated by 
environments is the only thing. We are all humans, both 
with negative and positive feeling. Both have our ups, 
both have our downs. The only difference is the side of 

But why is the majority of the lower class people are 
us, of color? If we are all "equal" why are things the way 
they are? 

-Speedy Vicious 

From The Beat: in the cities of our very rich country, the majority of the 
poor are people of color — often living in conditions our government 
finds unacceptable when they exist in other countries. But you probably 
will be surprised to learn that most people on welfare, most people who 
get food stamps, are actually white people — also starved of education 
and preparation for the 21st Century, but living in the country's rural 
heartland and not in the cities. As long sk% races are pitted against each 
other, sk% long sk% the poor see other poor people (even of the same 
race) sk% "the enemy," the rich will continue to reap the rewards. The 
real question (to ut\ is how can this degree of poverty (and not just 
economic poverty, but poverty of spirit and hope) exist in the richest, 
most powerful country on earth? This should shame everyone who has 
ever saluted our flag with the words, "with liberty and justice for all." 


imifMmMs^oiJS^r ^ / * #/// 

Take Small Steps 

When you get out of jail, you need to take small steps, as if you were walking 
up a river with a strong current. If you take too big of a step, you will get pushed 
down the river. 

From The Beat: This is a wonderful metaphor, and it's true whether 
you're just getting out of jail or not. They say that a journey of a 
thousand miles begins with one small step. What are the small steps 
you are planning to take to keep you moving upstream when you get 
out of here? 

Weakness is Msing pain 
And iHfllctiHg palH toga in » 

Blind To What Matters 

Who are the people 

Acting so feeble? 

And thinking they're better? 

All the bullies, toadies, hurting for fun. 

Something that shouldn't be applauded, but shunned. 

Was something changed 

For them to feign: 

Strength? Power? Immortality? 

Am I the only one 

Who sees this as faulty? 

These people see me, 


But what they perceive is wrong. 

Only seeing outside; 

This might be what makes them blind. 

Blind to difference, 

(Or sameness). 

For we are all human... 

That is not a weakness. 

Weakness is using pain 

And inflicting pain to gain. 

That is a predator... 

None knows better... 

But me? 

What should I complain 

About being locked up? (shame) 

But being in here is not me! 
As soon as I'm out... I'm FREE!! 

From The Beat: Freedom cannot be bound by wall or fence/ it's a state 
of mind, the grace of sense/Some in here will never attain it/Some out 
there iwill never retain it/In you we see not what ivill be/But ivhat is: 
you are already FREE! 



You cannot look for Love, 

For it is all round you... 

To the fluttering wings of a dove. 

To the church where you hear, "I do." 

Yes, it is everywhere. 

For everyone to share. 

From lovers to friends. 

To letters that one sends. 

It's Valentine's Day 

Come what may... 

Are you in Love? Yes!? 

I wish you the best! 

From The Beat: We are so used to the dark and depressing stories of 
life on the streets, that we sometimes forget to celebrate such profound 
miracles sk% love itself. Thank you for reminding u%. 

All A Matter Of Time 

stress is what drives me insane 

Relief is something I look for 

But I seem to never find! 

Talking to my PO, hearing about my time 

Drives me more crazy than I already am 

Eight months for something that makes no sense 

It's nothing, 'til my time comes to an end 

From The Beat: Of course it^ something, Scarface. How could "nothing" 
drive you insane? When you say you're here for something that makes 
"no %en%e" do you mean you don't know why you did what you did, 
or you don't know why the system responds the way it has? In either 
case, it's for you to find the "%en%e" or "no sense" — or to keep allowing 
yourself to be put in a cage under the control of strangers. To u%, that 
is what makes no %en%e. 

Let Him lut 


I mij 

You say that you see me, but the only thing you see is the outside of me. You 
see a guy with attitude, a guy that lives in a messed-up world, but you don't even 
know me. The real person is inside of my skin, that I'm trying to release, which 
I'm gonna do, just takes time. I realize that I need to let my real person out to 
show, so I can be known in life. 

-Lil' Cyko 
From The Beat: What you say is true of all of u%, to one degree or another. 
If the "real" you is hidden behind a surface that allows the world to 
sjudge you, then it is time to let the real you show through. 


I am achieving myself because when I am at home and my teacher tells me to 
do something, I say, "No!" But when I came in juvenile school and they told me 
to do something, I said, "Okay," because I want to get out and go back home. 

-Lil' Richie 
From The Beat: What does it mean to "achieve yourself?" If you're only 
saying "okay" in here so that you can get back out there, what will 
you do when you're back in school on the outs? If you keep your old 
patterns and say "No," it won't be long 'til you're right back here, saying 
"okay." Okay? 

A Bound Mind 

A colorful glade 

Fills your gaze. 

And those lights around 

That you've never found. 

With music that sees 

And color that flees 

As each work in cooperation 

Expanding your imagination. 

If these seas 

Of shades that bleed 

Is something that 

This world lacks. 

Why not open your mind 

To those ties that bind. 

And lose them so completely 

You at once become giddy? 

Yes, it's absurd. 

But don't be perturbed. 

For your mind can sing 

And look on the variety it can bring. 

From The Beat: Like viewing a bird with outstretched wings/ We love 
hearing ivhat your heart sings! 

ies, it's ahsi^rd, 

Bat doM 't he pertt^rhed, 

For If oar utiKd can sing 

And look OK the varietif 

it cm hring. 

^//////// ///////, sHMMMMm/mm 


WM/MMmr/^mi/ r / ^ ^ s 


I Want My Life Back 

Being in Hillcrest has really changed my life and my 
view on a lot of things. I've only been here over a week, 
and it has been the roughest time of my life. I know I am 
obviously here for a reason and I am going to finish my 
time here, which will hopefully be until the 20th of this 

Being here is really hard for me. I miss my friends and 
family so much. I cried the first four days. I've realized 
how much my grandma means to me, because she has 
raised me my whole life. Being away from her is so hard. 
I haven't been able to talk to any of my friends since I've 
been here, which I'm going to take home with me, and 
these things will make me a better person. I can't wait to 
go back home and have my life back. 


From The Beat: The lessons you've learned (the hard way) should serve 
you for the rest of your life! We hope you never forget them, because 
if this time has been hard on you, just think how hard it has been on 
your grandma! 


Hunting Tlien Hunted 



Silently stalks. 

The cat moves slowly in a light trot. . . 

Closing in on the inevitable end, 

A small growl has a message to send. 

Towards its prey. 

On its stomach it lays; 

And in the moon, you see 

The eyes that gleam; 

Far more near 

Than your tangible fear 


From The Beat: Since we cannot equal the elegance of this beauty, we 
have borrowed one stanza from a five-stanza poem called "Cat" we found 
on the internet by Australian poet David Smith White: "Come stalking, 
come stalking,/my vain and inviolate Cat^My immune and disdainful 
Cat!/ln her predatory crimes,/(though she's fed all the time),/she's the 
terrorist trained sts a diplomat!" 


If everyone could vote, would things be the same? 
I think not. Our country's ways of doing things, in my 
eyes, are not right — the law, politics, anything you can 
mention. But what I don't understand is where do we 
get government? Where and why do we have democracy? 
That was in Rome, but how did that come from Rome 
to the US? Why on the back of the dollar bill, spiritual, 
historical information is listed, listed in a way not so 
commonly understood, hidden in messages a naked eye 
cannot see? Things to wonder, things put together in my 
mind I try to understand, but it's like I'm in a maze, stuck 
and lost. 

-Speedy Vicious 

From The Beat: Your mind is seeking answers which are not to be found 
in movies or "popular belief." (Those "hidden" messages on the back of 
the dollar bill, for example, aren't really that hidden, if you study how 
the Founders of the country decided on those symbols.) Few people 
take the time to study how ideas and institutions have come down to us 
through many historical lines. But the information is all there, in books, 
and you have at least two qualities that make you a prime candidate 
to find the answers to your questions: A fine mind, and a powerful 
curiosity. It is so easy for us to see you in a major university (Stanford 
has just announced that it will waive tuition for anyone whose family 
makes less than $100,000 a year!) studying history, philosophy, or 
really, anything else that your curious mind wants to explore. Our deep 
hope is that you, too, see yourself in such a setting. 


i I 


A Bed I Just Borrow 


Today my day was so hard. 

I mean, let me begin by saying. Time — 

It's going by so slow. 

I can't take it no more. 

I wonder if I'm going crazy. 

I mean, I wake up to a room that ain't mine, to a pillow 

that's a blanket. 

It just makes me lazy. 

I do my bed, but it's still not mine; 

It's a bed that I just borrow while I watch the cars go by. 

My window is the only thing that makes me happy. 

When I'm bored, all I do is look outside. 

Smile at the deers that pass me by. 

Plus the cars. 

But they're way too fast, so just wait to dark and watch 

the stars. 

Then, the next day comes, and here we go again... 

Same ol', same ol' all over again. 

I'm just tired of being here. I did the crime 

And now I know how it feels to pay the time. 

My mom is happy that I'm almost out. Can't wait no longer, 
I'm almost done. So change my life, or stay the same? If I 
change, I know I'm going to be so proud, but I'm going to 
miss the homegirls, just the same. 

How 'bout the homies? Will they hate? I'm just so 
tired of the streets, all the drugs and die drink. I'm hoping 
a lot that I can change. 

When I get out, it's going to be hard, but I know my 
choice, and it ain't no fun. But I can care less. It's my 
decision — stay with my family and go to school. Become 
a nurse. But still, from the 'hood, take care of my homies 
when they get shot 'cause you know me, I got you to the 

That's my plan and I ain't going out. I'm Anna prove 


From The Beat: It's not just being locked up that% giving you that feeling 
of going crazy, Chichara, it's also the struggle you're having within 
yourself. In Shakespeare's most famous play, the title character, Hamlet, 
asks: 'To be or not to be?" It is clear to us that you want "to be," but are 
afraid that such a choice somehow betrays your homies. We believe that 
if you follow your true dream, you can become a great nurse, and serve 
both yourself and your homies. 


What's good with The Beat? It's your boy. Money Hungry, 
here, just writing about time. Your boy wasted too much 
time in this life. Whether it was time here in the halls or 
time doing stupid shhh, I wasted too much time. 

Moms is always on my line. I can't take this shhh no 
mo'. Plus, I'm Anna be turning eighteen real quick. I think 
that I wasted the most time puffin' on blunts, sittin' on 
the couch, hella lazy, playin' Madden. I also wasted hella 
time committin' crimes on the block, and I be stressin', 
'cause of the karma that's finna catch up with me. 

I didn't spend enough time with the fam bam. God, I 
miss them so much. Man, I wasted too much time on the 
grind, for real, for real. 


From The Beat: Regret for past misdeeds is only useful if it has the 
power to change future behavior. We hope you will remember what you 
are feeling now once you are back out there and able to make your 
own choices again. When there is nothing to tempt you, it is easy to 
make promises not to waste any more time; but when those temptations 
come your way, it requires courage and determination to pass, to keep 
your eyes on the prize, and to be the man we know you are capable of 


^//////// ///////, sHMMMMm/mm 


WM/MMmr/^mf/ r / ^ ff s 


Juvenile Hall 

I been in and out of jail for a long time, doing some time, nothing big. As I 
keep coming in, I started to do more time. I went to Camp Glenwood, did eight 
months. I keep messing up! 

On one day I was hella drunk, got arrested. I woke up in my cell. My PO 
told me that I had ten new charges and that I was going to CYA, but I got lucky. 
Now I am doing eighteen months. 

From The Beat: You have had lots of time to think about why you iceep 
sabotaging your freedom. Have you come up with any answers? Doing 
time in the hail is no picnic, but it's iiice a picnic when compared with 
what lies ahead, unless you get your act together. What are your plans 
in that department? 

First Love 

There was a girl once 
Who made me feel great. 
All the stories she had 
And the things she said 

Were so profound... 

I knew that I loved her, 

I was speechless, too. 

She read my poems. 

Liked what I wrote. 

But I couldn't express 

The feelings I felt... 

She became flustered 

Because I had nothing to say. 

But she was my first love, 

I was nervous all day. 

Eventually she said 

That we were through. 

The anger I knew; 

My heart was hurt 

But, yet, again, as you'd expect. 

The feelings I felt, I could not express. 

From The Beat: To be honest, it is difficult for us to imagine you unable 
to express what you feel. Maybe the poet that you clearly are was still 
waiting to be born... 









Bittersweet? Maybe Not... 

Death, it seems. 

Is an inevitable end. 

As true as this is. 

Life's still worth living. 

Maybe it's all the sweeter 

When we realize how soon 

Something we love 

Might easily be consumed 

By this uncertain wonder. 

A door we cannot cross 

'Til it's our time to go... 

A new experience, maybe... 

It cannot be through. 
I believe there is something. 

But I don't know what. 

Fear should be the last thing 

I'm pondering about... 

Maybe even then 

When the end is near, 

I will only feel happiness 

And reminisce my years. 



From The Beat: Since we're all subject to that same end/ We're more 
interested in where your path will wend/In short, since every life has a 
built-in fall/The destination is known, so the journey is all! 

Waltino To Get Out 

Waiting to get out and roll a fat chop 

Ready to buy a thizz and feelin' to pop 

As days go by, makes me think about it even more 

Three hits off a choppa that will have me blown 

And feelin' myself off that 'dro 

Chillin' at Hoover Park with all the homies 

Wit' one hand on a chop and the other on a forty 

Females be jockin' when I'm on the outs 

They love my name, 'cause it's always in they mouth 

It's nothin' to a hater 

Just knowin' the fact that I'm a player 

-Lir Laylow 
From The Beat: We really don't want to be hatin'/But it^ very thin ice 
you're skatin'/Poppin' pills and blowin' 'dro/And alcohol will indeed lay 
you low/You can call yourself a player, if you choose/But you're a player 
in a game you can only lose/if drugs and drink is all you can see/How 
long do you think that you can remain free? 

Maifhe It's all the sweeter 
When we realize how soon 

Something we love 
Might easllif he consumed 

My Thouohts 

Evil thoughts got my mind trippin' 

I be slippin' in the darkness, starin' the devil in the eyes 

I know I'm going to die. He tells me why 

Leading me away from God 

I don't care: I hate God and his ways 

I never pray; all I say is: 

"Shhh happens" 

Evil thoughts make me plot the next crime 

Won't let me sleep 

Life is cheap 

My heart is deep in my body 

My soul belongs to the devil 

My life belongs to my 'cause 

As I fall more in hell 

Always locked in cells 

All I say is, "Oh, well" 

Evil thoughts got my mind trippin' 

From The Beat: You've got u% confused. You say you believe in the devil 
but not in God. Where does this "devil" reside? What reason is there for 
a devil in the world, if it is not to counter God? We don't know if there's 
a God or not, but we don't understand how you can believe in one, but 
not the other. We don't think you're looking the devil in the eye at all. 
We think that's just a convenient excuse for avoiding looking at yourself 
in the eye. You are the master of your fate, so if "Oh, well" is all that 
you can come up with, then you'll be saying a lot of it. Unfortunately, 
you'll be in a place where those that control your every movement look 
at you with exactly that same thought, "Oh, well." It's up to you, or it's 
up to no one! 

Ill I milk iboit 


As I sit in this room 

I think about how much I miss you 

As I drift away, going to sleep 

I dream of me and you 

When I close my eyes 

All I see is yo' pretty smile 

Smiling at me 

I wish that you could see me 

Just for a lil' while 

But the circumstances that I'm in 

Won't let my wish come true 

I can't wait for that day 

That it's jus' gone be me and you 

Chillin' at the park 

Looking into each other's eyes 

Forgetting about our lives 

Both lost in each other's time 

I'm lost while I write this rhyme 

'Cause I can't get you out of my head 

You must've cast a spell on me 

'Cause sometimes I can't even go to bed 

I hate the fact that I gotta talk to you 

Through the letters, in mail 

If only you was with me that day 

I wouldn't be in jail 

Now my home is in this cell 

Got hit with the long-ass twelve 

An' I got six more to go 

Just a couple of months left 

For that one day I'll be home 

Chill in the 'hood 

With my female by my side 

With you finna be with me, chula 

You best be down to ride 

-Eight Ball 
From The Beat: You think twelve is a long-ass time?/Wait 'til you see 
what comes next if you keep doing crime/You say you want her "down 
to ride" with you beside her/Which means the game comes first, far 
ahead of the rider/Your poem has loss and pain and much more in it/ 
But without some change, your time with her won't last more than a 


///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^j/^ywj Eimmm^mu r - #// //// 


Daddy's Heart is Home 

When you were born, your head was full of hair 

I held you closely, promised I would be there. 

You never cried, you watched the angels dance; 

I could only imagine sweet songs as they pranced. 

From that moment forward, your life I would protect; 

I will go down in a blcize of glory until there's nothing left. 

Make sure the world doesn't approach you without 


If someone decides differently, that I will not let 

You're my baby, I see you living until the streets turn gold 

And even then, I see me tuck you in when nights cire cold. 

I may not understand everything about a woman's choice. 

But I'll understand it soon enough when you begin to 

use that voice. 

It will be real hard to see when you finally date; 

Those years right there, I don't want to see but cinticipate. 

I want to teach you how to drive cars and be safe; 

If we set a curfew, you know, don't be late. 

Attend your graduation from college, go, girl, you made it! 

I would have to let go then, though I'd hate it. 

I'm very proud of you, you're intelligent; 

The mistcikes tiiat you made in the past are all irrelevant. 

The day will come real fast to where you move on 

With your life. You could always come back 'cause 

Daddy's heart is home 

'H. HUB/?Tf7' 

.««« .. .«..t in by H. Huerta, writing from Ad Seg at 
Caiipatria State Prison in Caiipatria, CA. This is an interesting piece 
that really paints a picture on the call of the streets. The sad part 
is our new friend here is now in for life. WE do hope to hear from H. 
Huerta down the road! 

Varrio Love 

As a kid growing up I heard stories about you 

So through the years I ended up in love with you 

I would see you on the corner store everyday with lots of 

vatos around you 

One day I had the courage to ask you out and join you 

I gave you my whole life 

I protected you when vatos talked about you behind 

your back 

I'd defend you and when vatos would want to fight with 

you I'd fight for you 

I had so much love for you that I did whatever you said 

You had me hypnotized with your love and fame 

I remembered them nights you would tell me to hurt 

them vatos 
because they said bad and disrespectful things about 


I fought and killed for you 

and now I find myself in the pinta doing 42 with life 

because of you 

you just caused me hurt and sadness but you know 


I will always love you even though you keep on hurting 


You want to know something real funny? 

I even have your name tattooed on me 

stone, who is incarcerated in the SATF/Corcoran State Prison 
in Corcoran, CA, says The Beat Within inspires him to "free (his) 
soul's words." We're lucky enough to have them be freed within our 
pages. Very inspired and inspiring writing. Stone! We so appreciate the 
knowledge. We look forward to featuring your work in future \%%ue%. 

A Sacred Place 

I'm ch£dlenged to find pleasures of happiness each day... 
Allowing myself to believe in hope, I enjoy thinking of 

life this way... 
Perhaps tomorrow will provide a blessing disguised in a 

letter from you... 

You've maintained my attention which creates a passion, 

a purpose so true... 

How could I explain what remains to be seen yet make 

you understand... 

I desire your permission to entertain for a change, a 

comfort, holding your hand... 

As you face emotional obstacles. I would make love to 

your heart and mind, so to speak... 

Because all is not lost in the end, you've still got me... 

You truly ignite a sincere compassion in my life, so it 

burns deep... 

You've turned my want into a need and so I dream of you 

in my sleep... 

I arise each morning and to my surprise, your picture 

keeps a smile on my face... 
I then realize that you bring me joy, to my soul, a sacred place. 

'D^/?/?nnu. n^/?nT^' 

Darron J. Garcia, currently locked up in a correctional facility in 
T^acy, Ca shares this powerful and creative poem. Darron describes 
and paints a picture with his words. He lets his imagination run free 
on paper because ^% you can see he's in a lonely prison cell . Darron, we 
can feel your frustration in not being able to experience all the wonders 
of nature. Hopefully, you'll be able to experience it all again some day 

My Looelir Prison Cell 

Have you ever seen a rose grow 

But one you couldn't smell 

Have you ever watched a bird sing 

But couldn't really tell 

Have you ever watched the wind blow 

Swiftly through the tree 

But only left to wonder 

How it felt to feel its breeze 

Have you ever watched the rainfall down 

Like teardrops from the sky 

Have you ever wondered how it felt 

To never, ever cry 

Have you ever seen wild horses run 

So effortlessly and free 

Imagine what a tragedy 

If they were stuck in here with me 

This is my perspective 

It's one I know too well 

It's the story of my life 

Looking out my prison cell 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^T^^WT^^mmfmrngm ar .j / J JJ // 

'MTHH^BL, u n/?nsii¥ S/?,' 

The Story of My Life 

I would like to take this time to introduce myself; my name is Mr. 
Crosby L. Michael, Sr. I am an African American male, 44 years 
old. I was born in Detroit, Michigan, but I was raised in South 
Central Los Angeles in Watts. I had 6 brothers and 2 sisters. 
Now I only have 3 brothers and 1 sister. One of my youngest 
brothers was killed in 1986 in a drive-by shooting in L.A. My 
other 2 brothers and my one sister had passed away in 2006 
back to back and they were much older than I was. I have 2 
boys and one girl out there in L.A. So the main reason that I am 
writing you this story of my life is because I would love for all 
of the youngsters and teenagers to read my story because I have 
been to juvenile hall and CYA and now I am incarcerated for the 
rest of my life. 

But before I start my story, I just would appreciate if you 
would please listen to what all that I am saying to you, OK? I 
lost my mom, my grandmom, and my grandfather in 1965, when 
I was just 2 years old, in a car accident. We were all hurt really, 
really bad in the accident, but I really do thank God that I am 
here to tell my story. Amen. My aunty had taken in all 9 of her 
sister's kids. When I turned 18 years old, my aunty sat me down 
and told me she wasn't my real mom, that my mom had gotten 
killed in a car accident. But I told my aunty that she will always 
be my mom until the day Jesus Christ calls me up. She is still 
living at the age of 76 and I really do appreciate what God has let 
her do for me in my lifetime, thank you, Jesus. I never did know 
my dad. I had only seen him one time in my life and that was 
when I was 17 years old. My dad passed away in 1997; may God 
bless his soul. 

Now I really don't know what to call this story that I'm 
writing to the youngsters and teenagers who are incarcerated, 
but it all started back in 1976. I was just 13 years old. But, like 
I said, I grew up in Watts in all 3 of the projects, Nickerson 
Garden, Jordan Downs, and Imperial Courts. I was never a gang 
member and I never have used drugs in my life. People out there 
in the world think just because you are African American that 
you either are selling drugs or a gang member and that's not 
true. But, anyway, I started robbing people out there in the world 
for their hard earned money. I didn't get caught; I was told on by 
someone, so I was sent to juvenile hall at 13 years old. 

I was sent to a group home that I didn't like, but I did good 
in the group home and I got out. I went back home to robbing 
people. I didn't stay out no time. When I turned 15, I was sent 
back to juvenile hall for robbery again. Back in the 70s, when 
I was going to the halls, it was really rough with the Crips and 
Bloods, and I do mean rough! So this time, after going to the 
hall, I was sent to another group home in Santa Barbara. I did 
very good; I went to school and I did what was asked of me. I 
stayed out of juvenile halls for about 6 and a half months and 
then I was sent to CYA for robbery when I had just turned 16. 

I went to Preston, Karl Holton School, and Dewitt Nelsen 
(all CYAs) up north. I stayed in school and got my high school 
diploma. I really did good when I had gotten out of CYA, but 
when I turned 21, I went to Los Angeles County Jail and I saw 
one of my brothers in the county jail. He asked me what I was 
in the county for and I told him robbery again and my brother 
shook his head and asked me how much time I was looking at; I 
told him 6 years in prison. When I first hit prison back in 1984, 
I was scared as hell, ya feel me, because I had seen with my own 
eyes someone get killed and then you have the Bloods, Crips, 
Southsides, and Whites and we all go to war against each other. 

Out of those 6 years I only had to do 2 and a half. I was 
released from prison in 1986. 1 was on parole for 1 year because 
I did good and I had a job and a family to take care of. 

From 1986 until 1991 I stayed out of trouble; it wasn't hard 
to do, youngsters and teenagers. Then in 1991, around January, 
me and my kids went up to this park so they could play and I 
could play basketball. Around 5:00 me and my kids were walking 
home from the park in Bellflower and some young kids told the 
police that I had robbed them with a .357 Smith and Western. 
Now, I have never owned a .357 Smith and Western before in my 
life, but I was put in back of the police car and the police asked 
the kids if they were sure they had the right person and they 
said yes. 

I was sent to jail again to go to court. I went to court a couple 
of times and they wanted to give me a deal for 9 years. They said 
if I took it to trial and lost, I would get 18 years. I had to take the 
deal even though I didn't rob the kids. My lawyer had stated to 

Michael L. Crosby Sr. sends u% his heartfelt story from a Correctional 
Facility in ^stn Diego, CA. Michael wants to share his life story for 
all you readers, hoping to lead youngsters away from what he has 
experienced. He says, "People, if you do the crime, just do your time and 
stay strong. Don't cry about it because you put yourself in juvenile halls, 
CYA and prison." Michael, losing the love and trust of your family is the 
heaviest punishment for the crimes you committed. We're glad you've 
found peace with the Lord. 

me that the kids said the police had made them say that it was 
me, but I couldn't beat my case because of my record. But, out 
of the 9 years I did 6. 

So around 1997 I was paroled from Corcoran Level 3 yard. I 
was doing good again out there from 1997 until 1999. Then I was 
locked back up, this time for murder, but I'm really sorry I did it 
and I cried and asked God to forgive me and he did. 

From 1984, 1991, and 1999 I have been going to Norwalk 
Court in Norwalk, California, and Norwalk Court isn't anything 
nice. So, anyway, I fought this murder case for two and a half 
years because they wanted to give me the death penalty for first 
degree murder. That was the deal, to be put to death. My lawyer 
talked with the DA, but the DA wasn't going for it because I'm 
a 3 striker. So, I had to go back and forth to court until they 
dropped the death penalty and I was given 250 years without the 
possibility of parole. 

So here I am incarcerated for the rest of my life. But ever 
since I had been in and out of juvenile halls, CYA and prison, I 
have always told my loved ones that I was really sorry for hurting 
them and that I was going to do right when I got out, but all of 
the time I was just lying to them and myself. But now that I have 
life in prison all of my family members have turned their backs 
on me. They don't write me and I can't call because a block is on 
the phone. Now, people out there, crime really doesn't pay when 
you really find out that you have your loved ones and your kids 
out there that love and care for you. I just would like to say this 
and that I do try to talk to many of these youngsters in prison 
today, but they don't want to listen to me because they just want 
to kick it with their homies and smoke their weed and gang bang 
and drink their wine, but I tell them that a hard head makes a 
hard bed to sleep in. 

So y'all believe in Jesus Christ? I do. All you have to do is 
just believe in your heart with all of your heart and soul and 
ask God to forgive you for all of your sins. It's not too late to 
repent. Just please get down on your knees and pray every day 
and night and God will answer your prayers, but you have to 
really believe in his word also. So, youngsters out there, please 
don't turn your backs on Jesus Christ because he died for all 
our sins and please listen to your parents because we all only 
have one life to live and please read your Bible and go to church. 
It's never too late and please, please, in God's name, don't listen 
to what your homies are telling you because they aren't going to 
be there for you like your loved ones. But for me I never, never 
in my life had any homies and God is my witness to that. 

In closing, I would like to thank you for taking your time out 
in reading this. Please take care of yourself in and out there in 
the world and please, please stay out of trouble because jail isn't 
the way to live for the rest of your L-I-F-E...ya feel me? I really do 
pray that you do because it really, really does get very, very, very 
lonely behind these prison walls day and night. So, may God 
bless y'all that are incarcerated and those who are out in the 
world of today. But I would like for y'all to just stop and think, 
"Do I want to really spend the rest of my life locked up?" What 
is your answer? Jesus Christ is truly the light and the way, so 
please stay in school and be somebody. 

Don't follow your homies; they are not good for you. So if 
anyone would like to contact me out there, please drop me a line 
or two (through The Beat) because it does get very, very, very, 
and I mean VERY lonely behind these prison walls many days 
and nights. Life isn't a J-O-K-E!! So, people out there, I must 
really say, "People, get ready because the train is coming; you 
don't need a ticket, just get on board, and the train, people, is 
Jesus Christ." Just please think before you act. 

Young people, please listen to your parents and please stay 
in school. It's not too late to really be somebody. I know I'm 
not your dad, but maybe some of your dads were not there for 
you. For the youngsters that are incarcerated, you still do have 
a chance in L-I-F-E again. It's not too late. Just keep your head 
up and stay strong and pray. But holla at me if y'all feel me, ya 


///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 



Mj lite 

I hope that these young guys and girls keep writing to 
The Beat Within because it gives them something to look 
forward to and let other people read about what they're 
going through being locked away. 

One thing for sure I can say is that when I read their 
work I can relate to them because though I'm 53 years 
old, I've never been in any trouble until I caught my case 
in 1998 for killing my abuser to keep him from killing me 
when I tried to leave that day. 

I feel their pain for being locked up away from family 
and friends who love you. I know that a lot of them had a 
rough young life growing up with all of the peer pressure 
that goes on today. 

I feel that instead of the system always locking up 
our young girls and guys, they should help them be more 
active in society instead of turning their backs on them. 

I wish that I could help these young people out and 
show them that they can be whatever they want to be in 
life if they give themselves a try and stop falling victim to 
the system. I would also like to help women and children 
that are being abused to get out before it gets too late for 
them as it was for me. When I do get out of prison, I want 
to work with abused people. 

I have another poem I would like you to put in your 
next issue along with this letter and I pray the readers 
will be inspired by my poems as much as I am by their 
poems and letters. It is really nice to know that there are 
still people who care about us and are willing to let us put 
our poems out there. I hope one day people outside will 
get to read The Beat Within because I don't think people 
understand how hard it is being locked up like you're an 
animal in a cage; that's how I feel being in here. 

Valerie Seeley writes u% from Bedford Hills Correctional Facility In 
New York State. Valerie, has been through her ups and downs. She 
would like to share some of her wisdom and knowledge with everybody 
in The Beat Within, because she understand how it feels to be locked 
up. Valerie wants to share her experiences in life and also give her ideas 
about how the system can help youngsters instead of keeping them 
locked up. Here's a little bit of Valerie^ story so you readers can get to 
know her a little better. With that said, keep touching lives through the 
power of your pencil Valerie! We cherish your wisdom. 


People ask me why do I hate; 

I tell them because it's easy to stay ahead. 

People ask me do I know how to love; 

I say yes because it's something I was taught. 

People say I can't love and hate at the same time; 

I tell them that's not true because you can love family and friends 

but hate what you're going through. 

People ask me why am I so much in pain; 

I tell them to try to walk in my shoes and only then will 

they understand. 

People ask me what happened to me to make me feel this way; 

I tell them about the abuse I went through at the age of 42. 

People ask me why did I stay and I tell them if I told you, 

you wouldn't understand what goes on when you're being abused. 

People ask me why I didn't get help; 

I tell them it's easy to ask why when you don't understand. 

People ask me do I still hate; 

I say yes because it's hard to let go of all the pain. 

People ask me will I ever be me again; I tell them it's hard to say. 

I hate myself because of what I had to do to survive my abuse. 

I hate because I let my abuser destroy my life. 

But I love because I am stronger today than I was yesterday. 

So to answer your question, yes, you can love and hate at 

the same time. 

So never let anyone control your every move. 

'UB^X i^^nnB' 

The Parable 

The best method for revenge as the weapon of choice 
Is the depth of finesse when expressed in a voice 

Leaving papers moist, pressed with the seal of a tear 
As if when pierced in the rear from the steel of a spear 

To hear the bungalows drumming that summons the spirits 
In a traditional ritual rhythm kneeling humble to hear it 

Don't fear it, let it embrace and captivate the emotions 
Habitating like a captain navigating the ocean 

Cracked glass potions opened to bestow the scrolls 
A molded loaf of bread is the antidote to woes 

The arrow's bow is the soul of the impoverished 
The barren soul is the goal of the accomplishment 

A preponderance of relent and vindictive intent 
To the extent its strength was so immense that ignorance was 

its defense 

Since the message sent inside the bottle never made it afloat 
It choked the pulp out of hope like the braid of a rope 

The guillotine's stroke was supposed to circumcise the tail 
And what was seen by the eye was to be denied as well 

Human beings on a boat about the size of a cell 

The mighty Geri Vance is back! He has become a regular contributor 
to The Beat Within. It's always great to have Geri write too. He writes 
u% from Calipatria State Prison in Calipatria, CA. We must add he really 
^ — ^ . =** — ^ =_^_ ^jj generosity in sharing it. 

Incisors biting fingernails for they were surprised it sailed 

Is the parable of the tale about the lukewarm saints 
A generation from the ferment of the fruit with no taste 

Along the route destined to abrupt demise 
The third eye won't blink because the duct is dry 

It's like trying to deny that the rose is red 
If being lowered in a hole is suppose to hold the dead 

When in the blink of an eye the host is shed 
So being lowered by a rope was to console the dread 

So close to the edge that the plunge of faith 
Becomes the sum of the sake at a lunge away 

Deliverance, when it comes from the crumbs of the plate 
Will make the base of the tongue become numb to the taste 

Is the parable of the ones who were shun from grace 
When it's the potter who creates from a clump of clay 

Treated as if they were wrung from the sponge of waste 
As if they can't see the web on its spun display 



//r4^M/f/mmM^m/u / > h^/ rjifffi/ r J 



mm tn^an ai tamjm ^^^ 



^MJiJi i^Mi i r^MJrFiJTr^^^m 

lo lie Chiw Hill \ 

Duncan Purdy is currently locked up in Massachusetts Correctional ^^^| 
Facility in Norfolk, Massachusetts. He wants to share a few poems ^^ 

Walking in the rain toward the chow hall 

describing his experiences in jail, and some poems are from 
creativity. Duncan is a big fan of The Beat Within and loves < 

pure ■ 
III the ■ 

Too far to run... 

work that's put into it! This what we do here at The Beat! We put this ■ 

(From J building) 

powerful weekly together so that all you writers can have a voice and 1 
share your poetry, and life lessons with all. Enjoy his pieces. 1 

Though the rain is soaking 

A sauntering steady pace will do. 

Puddles, large and small, dot the way 




And pose grave challenges to dry feet. 

Bursts of speeding opposing traffic hinder as well 


But must be managed, face down. 

Seducing and swallowing 

Against the wind 

Evidenced by scars and shame 

I dream 

A narcotic haze 

Of my daughter's face 

A quick glaze 

And what they will pour onto a plastic tray 

A syringe loaded 

Down the line. 

To die for 
'Cause you are sick 

From The Womb (read loud) 

Fix quick 

From the womb 

Rob the drugstore 

To the tomb 

Come back for more 

We zoom... 

The battle is never won, never done 

Beedah bah 

It wants you for the duration 

Beedah boom... 

There is no vacation 

Boom, boom, boom. 

Stay around downtown 
It is in your yard 

Let me go... 

It is on your porch 
It is there, everywhere 

Bing bang 

Looking to get high-why? 

Hit the floor 

It is invisible 

Jibber, jabber 


Swigger, swagger 

Always there 

Spaghetti Eddie 

It don't care. 


Doan won no mo 

Locked up too much, too damn long 

Let me go... 

Yoo Say Be Qoiet 



You say be quiet, do your time 

Leave it alone, let it go 

If not, it will grow 

And take a hold 

Don't be bold 

Go on, don't take it with you 

Camaraderie and Brotherhood \ 

There is a camaraderie. 

That's what they want you to do 

A brotherhood 

Oh, yeah, you say 

Misery understands. 

Days will go by 

It defies logic. 

And I'll forget, won't regret 

But it has a reason 

You say, play 

It does (the right thing). 

And go away, just do a day 

I say no, it won't go 

I'm in my mind 

I wants to grind 

I am mad, I ain't glad 

I don't want to be in a cage 

Some May Have Been Croel \ 

In the past some may have been cruel 

I'm full of rage 

Some maybe not 

I mean to say what I gotta say 

But in here. 

There's just no other way, not then, not today. 

You feel 

What is real you can't steal 

Only the casualties of cruelty 

It's what I feel 

The suppression of human existence 

To me 

The submersion of the spirit 

That's the deal 

Spurred into sadness and frustration 

If you can't dig it, chig it 

Yielding to anger and finally rage 

Man, you don't know me 

Sometimes turned inward 

If you think I can 

Most times turned outward 

You got to go and find another man 

Most times one convict against another 

From this way I ain't gonna stray 

Most times victimizing the weakest. 

There won't be any other day. 

The most vulnerable. 

Any other way. Dig it. 

The most forgotten. 



///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^T/^Twnimmm^ afi /I J - ^//{J J.^ 

'DUnn^n ^UffD¥ canr. ' 

Book Title 

A sure best seller 

Twenty ways to escape from prison 

I will bet 

People will buy it 

Who aren't even in prison 

Try to love someone in your dreams 

It is easier 

Climb a mountain in your mind 

Reach higher with your brain, don't refrain 


With whom you talk 

With whom you walk 

To whom you listen 

Sleep well 
Before you go to hell 
It won't really matter, 
No one there will tell. 

Phaotom Freedom 

The guy in the cell across from me had his leg 


I guess I was dreaming about him 

Because I dreamed I had a phantom leg 

Something like being in prison and dreaming of 

phantom freedom. 

To Stay No Looger 

Haodiiali [With A Beat) 

Men grunting and panting 

Whacking a rubber ball 

Solidly against a wall 

Concussions hollowly ringing out 

Like echoes, popping 

Men laughing and gasping 


Until one falters 

And the ball dribbles away aimlessly 

Tirelessly, they continue the game 

Rapping and slapping, bouncing, leaping. 

Swinging and stretching in vain 

The blue rubber wins every time. 

My thoughts had betrayed me 

All hope had vanished 

All what I thought was real 

I could not feel 

It was only an illusion, 

a delusion 

In my derision 

There was a decision 

From under my blanket 

I swam upstream 

I confided and decided 

Not to be locked in this prison any longer 

My heart grew stronger 

On that day 

There was 

No other way to stay 

I had decided 

I would not be derided 

I could stay no longer. 

My heart grew stronger 

And stayed that way 



■ / 


Bird ifl Paradise 

Rhythmic pounding 

Drones through the aorta of the cell block 

Providing a mantle for an abysmal opera 

Waves of sound carom through garbled and loud 

Contorting and expanding. 

Angry voices, cackling laughter 

Shroud the gray caverns 
A garbled voice filled with static 
Is briefiy interrupted 
By the sound of sweet song 
The singer- 
She's a man by birth 
A woman in a man's body 
But today, in this prison. 
She's a bird in paradise. 

BiOGiioir aod i 

Blueboy and I 

Surfing the ink under the stars 

Ascending the asphalt to Highway Heaven 

The engine purrs 

Cylinders firing 

I am free in a land I know 

Roaring out 

Crackling pipes signal 

The call of the wild 

Tires gripping and screeching 

Headlight bobbing up and down 

Weaving through the night air 

Gathering spirits to the wind 

Blueboy and I 

Under the stars 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^l^^^^^^^^^^ ^i ^J' £/JJ,i Yi. 

'DU/f7¥nB W^TB/PM^H' 

My Story 

I would first like to take this opportunity to thank you for 
taking the time to read my letter; I am sure you're very 

Please afford me a moment to introduce myself. 
My name is Dwayne Waterman, I was born and raised in 
San Antonio, Texas, and have lived there my entire life. I 
graduated from a small redneck high school in Schertz, 
Texas, named Samuel Clemens H.S. I attended business 
courses at St. Philips Community College and was doing 
quite well until... 

I used to live with my older half-brother Joe, his 
common-law wife Cindy, and their two daughters, Ashley 
and Josette, up until '93 or '94. We had an argument and 
they kicked me out, which was cool with me; they both had 
drug and alcohol problems. I moved in with my mom in the 
later part of '94; I lived with her right up until the end. 

On December 2, 1999, my grandfather died at a VA 
hospice of a stomach tumor and was buried at Fort Sam 
Houston with full military honors. Joe was contacted about 
Grandpa's passing by an uncle. After I left, Joe and Cindy 
split up and Joe started dating his cocaine dealer and 
they both moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where her elderly dad 
took them in and supported them. When this nosey uncle 
contacted Joe, Joe packed up his old lady, her son, and all 
their belongings and moved on down to Texas. 

Joe remembered a will that our grandpa wrote when 
we were children that left him the grandparents' home. 
When Joe left, I was the grandson there to take care of our 
grandpa. I have a younger brother, Eric, but he has his own 
wife and kids, along with all the problems that come with 
a wife and kids, so he was completely unable to help out; 
so the burden lay on me. Well, my grandpa noticed that the 
only time Joe would write was when he was trying to get 
money.. "Grandpa, they are going to cut off my telephone if 
I don't pay the bill; I need $400.00 to pay them. Can I have 
the money, please?..." sort of letters. He finally saw Joe for 
the turd he really was and wrote a new will. This will stated 
that the last surviving spouse would decide who got the 
house instead of the house going straight to Joe. 

Joe showed up at the cemetery looking like the Beverly 
Hillbillies, stayed until the funeral was done and then 
walked up to our grandma and said, "Hey, when can me and 
Gina move in? I've got all my shhh right here." My grandma 
was crying and mourning the passing of the man she spent 
60+ years with; the last thing she wanted to discuss was 
the will, the house, or even Joe. She looked up at him while 
crying and then yelled out, "You're not getting the house. 
Dwayne is!!" and then pointed at me. Joe called her every 
name in the book, threw some chairs, and stormed out. As 
he passed me, he said, "I'm going to get you for this!" like I 
had anything to do with it. Actually, I thought my uncle, the 
very one that called Joe, was going to inherit the house. 

I put that particular moment of the interruption of Joe 
out of my mind and tried to return to some normalcy in my 
life. Then, one day... 

April 23, 2002, I was sitting at home with my niece 
Alyssa, whom my mom and I had raised since she was three 
days old and I looked upon as if my own daughter, and I got 
this letter from the Child Advocacy Center. It said something 
to the effect of: "Someone has accused you of abusing their 
children; I would like to sit down and talk to you about it. 
You have an appointment set for (something like a week 
later)." I saw the phone number and immediately called and 
had the appointment moved up to the next day. I wanted 
to know what the hell was going on. I never abused" any 
child in my life and the fact that someone was saying that I 
abused theirs angered me and hurt me at the same time. 

I arrived at the Center promptly before my appointment 
was scheduled; my younger brother went with me for support. 
I met a woman and, although it's been over seven years, 
I will never forget this woman's name. She is the perfect 
example of someone abusing their position. Amy XXX was 

Dwayne Waterman, previously at Powledge Unit in Palestine, 
Texas, sends his story from Navasota, Texas, which is all apart of 
the Texas Department of Corrections. Dwayne wants to share his 
disturbingstory with everyone and give his input on life, his life. It 
takes a special person to be able to find peace and a positive outlook 
on life after going through what he has gone through; sk% he continues 
to grow in spirit and soul. 

her name; she was short, fat, very friendly (at the time) and 
seemed very helpful... that was until we got into her office 
behind closed door. When I walked into her office, she had 
a video on pause. It was an image of a little girl. Amy sat 
behind her desk and asked me if I knew who this little girl 
was. I looked at her and she kind of looked like my oldest 
niece, Ashley. It wasn't; in fact, it was her sister, Josette. I 
hadn't seen those girls since 1994 when I left their house 
after my argument with their parents. Amy then played the 
video; I clearly heard Josette say, "My uncle," then Amy 
pushed fast forward for a few seconds, played it and I didn't 
quite hear what Josette said then. I really wasn't paying 
attention because all of a suddenly it dawned on me what 
"someone" had said about "abusing"their children. I had 
this sinking feeling in my stomach. My nieces Ashley and 
Josette claimed that in September of 1995 at my grandma's 
house, our entire family molested them both. 

One day, one month, one time, my mom, eighty-four 
year old grandma, my younger brother and sister, as well 
as myself, all molested them in some wild gang-bang orgy 
sex extravaganza and it never happened again. The explicit 
details that were given were so outlandish that there is no 
way a seven and five year old could withstand it. If that 
wasn't bad enough, there wasn't even a lame attempt to try 
to cover up the extraordinary descriptions. 

While all of this was going on around me, I was slowly 
driving myself insane. I constantly cried, felt depressed and, 
from time to time, entertained liioughts of ending it all. I 
loved children but not like this; this is something a true 
monster would do. I started to hear voices; the voices of my 
little fiower Alyssa, my other nieces and my only nephew 
playing and laughing and calling me. As my mental status 
crumbled, I began to hear other voices and uncontrollably 
cry for hours on end. I heard these varying voices saying, 
"What are you going to do? What are you going to do?" 
They would start in a very low, distorted, demonic (if you 
will) sound and would slowly change to normal and then 
very high pitched. I experienced a level of depression that 
I don't wish on my worst enemy. I could not, for the life of 
me, see any other way out except to end it. 

I was placed on various medications to control whatever 
it was they thought I had, whatever it was named at the 
time; bipolar, manic depressive, one doctor told me that I 
had become borderline schizophrenic. I took Lorazapam, 
Trazadone, Zyprexa, Effexor, Abilify, Thorazine. I was 
prescribed all kinds of meds; these are just the ones I can 
remember the names of. No matter what it was, I always 
felt this deep, dark sickness beneath the surface of my 
mentality, waiting to break through. 

I was out on bond when my attorney called me into 
his office. I was taken there by my mom and Alyssa came 
with us; she loved her Uncle Dwayne. He told me that the 
prosecution was going after 30 years aggravated sexual 
assault of a child, 15 years per child, and that they would 
more than likely get it. He said he managed to work a 
deal for me with the prosecutor; eight years, 1 count of 
indecency with a child by exposure, not contact. He pointed 
that out a lot during our conversation; he said had it been 
by contact, they could raise it up to aggravated time, but 
since he worked that sweet deal for me, I wouldn't have to 
register as a sex offender, I could just pick up my life right 
where I left off. He made everything sound so good; I can't 
believe how stupid I was. When he said this, I just knew he 
had my best interest at heart; I knew he was my buddy. He 
said seeing how I was a first time offender, had never been 
in trouble with the law, that in two or three months I would 

continued on next page 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^^^^^^^^^^ ^W{^ L '. fJ ^/^ /ifZ 

'DM^¥nB U/f7TB;?Mf7n canr. ' 

parole right out of the county jail. But none of this was 
going to happen unless I signed this plea bargain. 

I didn't even look at the plea bargain. I just signed, in 
front of my tearful mother and wide-eyed niece, I signed my 
life away. On May 3, 2004 I went into court with my buddy, 
my attorney, and he entered my plea bargain. 

Whoever you are, man, woman, young, old, if I had 
known that my own attorney was lying to me, I would never 
have signed that plea. I was sentenced on May 3, 2004; I 
asked the judge if I could have a few days to gather my 
affairs before entering jail and he agreed to give me 7 days 
to straighten things out. 

On May 7, 2004 1 walked into he 227th district court and 
the judge sentenced me to 8 years in prison for indecency 
with a child by exposure. In June of 2004 I was transferred 
to Garza West Transfer Facility and my life has never been 
the same. 

I contacted my attorney's office and asked his secretary 
if my plea bargain stated anything that my attorney had 
promised me and guess what... nothing was found. 

I learned that the law changed in 1995 and that I was 
under the old law and had a mandatory release date. Here in 
Texas, they have what's now called discretionary-mandatory 
parole; they have to, if they feel like it, release you. If they 
don't feel like that you have learned your lesson, they give 
you a 1, 3, or 5 year set-off and at the end of your set-off, 
they bring you back up for parole and the whole cycle could 
repeat itself again. 

The parole counselor wrote and told me that my crime 
was listed as having occurred on December 1, 1996; kind 
of convenient, huh, that I supposedly committed my crime 
just after the law changed and now I am under mandatory- 
discretionary parole. I contacted my attorney's office again 
and asked for a copy of my indictment and, sure enough, 
the date of my alleged crime was December 1, 1996. So it 
looks like I'm going to be here until May 10, 2012. Here 
in the great state of Texas a convicted sex offender must 
attend a sex offender treatment program (SOTP) in order to 
be considered for super-strict parole. I did not commit my 
crime, I refuse to attend a mandatory class and if you do 
attend, there is no guarantee that they will parole you. You 
must sign paperwork declaring that you really did commit 
your crime and you are guilty of your crime. I will continue 
to fight even if I never find anyone that will help me. 

My life has gone through some of the most drastic 
changes that I have ever gone through. I have watched in 
letters as my mom and Alyssa's living conditions have 
deteriorated. It started out with them having problems 
paying bills, then various utilities were disconnected, then 

in April '06 my grandma died and my mom was unable 
to keep up with the mortgage, so they became homeless. 
Now they struggle daily for even the basic necessities of 
life. They were living with my younger brother Eric, his wife 
and their three spoiled kids. My mom and sister-in-law got 
into an argument and my sister-in-law kicked my mom and 
Alyssa out into the street. She's now back living with my 
step dad, which is even worse because he's verbally abusive 
to my mom and the kind of language he uses is not the kind 
we want a 6 year old girl to be around. 

I myself am suffering somewhat just seeing my two 
angels suffering out there in streets while I'm locked in 
this concrete hell like a rabid animal. I dream about them 
every night and I have been waking up tearful because my 
soul is tortured; I am in a horrific level of depression. I have 
been finding some solace in writing things like this and 
drawing things like that; I hope you like "the inside me". I 
drew it shortly after coming to this particular unit. I have 
been waiting so long to tell my story. 

As for me personally, when I came into prison in June 
of 2004, I weighed 600 pounds. I couldn't walk more that a 
few feet without breathing like I ran two miles, my left arm 
constantly tingled; when I was out in the world I smoked 
2 or 3 packs of cigarettes a day. My mind was in a never- 
ending cycle of raging thoughts, racing memories and wild 

As of today in 2007, I weigh 300 pounds less, I haven't 
smoked since I was at home, through intense study in 
Buddhism and Christianity I have found the peace in my 
head that I never would've been able to find on my own. I 
have literally changed mind, body and soul. 

I've often thought that if I had not come to prison, 
I'd probably be dead or at least I would've had a massive 
heart attack and been paralyzed or something. Coming to 
prison has made me a better person. If it hadn't been for 
my old half brother lying about me and having me pay for 
something I never did, I don't think I would've lasted this 
long on earth. 

I have been wanting to express myself for so long that 
now I have the chance I don't want to ruin it. I want to 
be able to help someone who's in a similar situation and 
maybe, just maybe, I can help them out. I want to be able to 
help bring peace to their souls like mine was. If they hear 
my story, tiiey'll feel as if someone out there really does 
understand what they're going through. 

Here's my story, told from a small redneck town called 
Palestine, Texas, in a small racist, inbred, hillbilly unit 
named Powledge Unit from an intelligent, artistic, poetic, 
lonely, innocent monster named Dwayne. 


I'm dying inside. 

Not from needles, blood cells or medications 

But from the implications. 

My tracks I will trace. 

Am I not free to love, kiss or touch? 

Look at my face, it betrays me and my love is considered 

a sin. 

I'm not one or the other, or both. 

I will not let the "American Dream" categorize me. 

I'm going to love whomever I want and remember the 

hopes, dreams, hate and the struggles that came before 


These are only a few things I have to carry. 

So understand why I stand before you with a tear on my 


Bre, aha Nightmare, writes to us from Corcoran State Prison in 
Corcoran, CA. Bre, is sharing a couple good pieces with us. We hope 
that he iceeps coming through with some good writing and positive 

Distant Eyes 

The eyes are our most sensitive organ and when you 
look and gaze into another person's eyes you are looking 
at the most beautiful jewels in the universe; 

And if you look down beyond that surface beauty, it's 
the most beautiful jewel in the universe because that's 
the universe looking at you; 

We are the eyes of the cosmos, so that, in a way, when 
you look deeply into somebody's eyes, you're looking 
deep into yourself. And the other person is looking deeply 
into that same self... 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^T^^WT^^mMOBrnffmar ;#//£/// 

'Df7i^TD "SHf7ffH¥" ^BBTUn' 

I fomd solace In the coHtpanif of those 
I felt showed we the respect and mder- 
standlng that I was tf earning for. 

David "Sharlcy" Keeton, while incarcerated in Corcoran State 
Prison, is doing much to change the outiooic of at-risic youth. He is 
a facilitator for the "Changing Within" program, a juvenile program 
at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison 
at Corcoran. Even while busy with his program, he makes time to write 
and share with our readers. We applaud you, David, for trying to make 
a positive difference in the lives of our young people. 

Cause and Effect, Mind Pnllutinn 

The link between local street gangs and dangerously 
influential prison gangs is an issue that parents and 
aspiring young gang-bangers should constructively discuss 
and be aware of. 

Unless you've been exposed by a family member or 
friend who happens to be a committed soldier to a prison 
gang, you are probably naive to the fact that close to all of 
the gang violence on the streets today is directly influenced 
by the politics written and enforced in prison. 

There used to be a time when children were off limits 
and exempt form any form of participation and/or exposure 
to the business of a once clandestine element. Times have 
since changed and with those changes it is now an acceptable 
practice to induct children. In fact, it is encouraged. Why? 
Because children are easy, even eager, to be manipulated 
and utilized by those that they choose to look up to. The 
sad truth is that they are viewed as nothing more than a 
means to an end in the eyes of someone who could be so 
cold and callous, exploiting their services for small stuff to 
crimes as serious as murder. 

Prison gang members are masters of manipulation. It's 
literally a part of the gang membership curriculum in prison 
to season oneself in what they view as an art. A classic 
example of such manipulation is to get a kid to believe 
that his sacriflces at such a young age can only warrant a 
short vacation in Y.A. versus "If I do it, I'll be facing a life 
sentence." The truth of the matter is kids who do serious 
crimes, on top of being labeled a "gang member," get the 
same punishment as an adult. The truth is gang members 
don't get breaks or second chances. 

Kids look up to gang members who've been to prison 
for a number of reasons. For starters, they are celebrated as 
somewhat survivors who paid their dues on the front lines 
of a war. The whole image and appearance of being a warrior 
of some sort is a misconception that troubled kids aspire to 
become. Seasoned veterans even go so fare as introducing 
kids to concepts, constitutions and laws that initiate 
lifelong commitments to gangs, in or out of incarceration. 
They do so with the same tactics that a salesman would use 
to promote a product. 

Speaking from a personal standpoint, there was a 
time when my Homeboys meant everything to me and I 
considered them my family. Since I was unable to flnd a 
common ground witii my parents and our encounters were 
usually unpleasant, I found solace in the company of those 
I felt showed me the respect and understanding that I was 
yearning for. Because I was always at odds with my father, 
I looked up to the older gang members on my block and 
those returning home from prisonA^outh Autiiority. This 
was my flrst interpretation of respect and illusions of what 
a gangster was. 

Respect is a key factor within any criminal circle. 
Without it, you could quickly be seen as a liability, someone 
in the way. For a young ambitious gang member who yearns 
the same respect as those he sees around him, the only 
logical way to acquire it is to emulate those who appear 

to have the most respect. Unfortunately, that would be 
those in prison for putting in work or those returning 
from the journey. 

And so begins a destructive cycle of crime and 
punishment. As I draw once again from an objectionable 
past of my own, I recall the tug-of-war between good and evil 
and how my indecisiveness gave in to the latter. The latter 
consisting of a love that seemed unconditional at the time, 
versus my parents, who without a doubt were out to protect 
my best interests. However, I was unable to comprehend 
those intentions nor their approach to counsel me at the 
time. As a result, I viewed my parents as the oppressors 
and I rebelled. Because of the poor choices I made as a 
young man, I spent most of my adolescent years in Juvenile 
Hall and Youth Authority. Somewhere in between, without 
me even realizing it, my loyalties shifted from family to the 
code of the streets and the politics of a prison movement. I 
also became institutionalized. 

The grave effect that gang members have on the youth 
of today can be summed up in two words, "Mind Pollution." 
The process of Mind Pollution begins with the propaganda 
that originates in prison, which in turn spills into the 
streets by way of those paroling. As I mentioned earlier, 
kids are flxed on the illusion that those who go to prison 
and survive exemplify the characteristics of what it is to be 
a gangster, including the poison that profusely flows out of 
their mouths. 

In conclusion, I've merely outlined the root cause of a 
virus that I call "Mind Pollution." However, there are many 
contributing factors that effect the direction of an at-risk 
adolescent in the form of mind pollution. Unfortunately, 
that would entail chapters of elaboration. Instead, I submit 
that parents/guardians consider the following in their 
course of intervention: 

1.) We vs. They dichotomy 

2.) Positive guidance vs. Dictatorship 

3.) Trust vs. Suspicion 

The We vs. They Dichotomy is an approach that implies 
when we (parents/guardians) speak and direct, they (our 
children) shall obey. We take the position of a dictator, 
where the need for respect and authority outweighs the 
concept of love, understanding, and positive guidance. 
We fail to promote the healthy independent judgment of a 
young man by looking at everything with a suspicious eye 
and blindly believing that our harsh criticisms contribute to 
the inspiration of a child to do or try something different. 

For the sake of argument, I yield to the position that 
perhaps in our desperate quest to deter our children away 
from the jaws of corruption and evil, we've unconsciously 
pushed them into compromising positions, waving a flnger 
in anger and frustration as opposed to influencing them to 
embark on a generative path. A family is like a team. It's 
our responsibility to coach. If it's so easy for a crook to 
mislead our children into a cycle of self-destruction, then 
what does that really say about our tactics as coaches? 

It's a wake-up call for us to step up our game and get 
to really know our kids. Frustration is a poor excuse for 
inadequate coaching. 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^T^^WT^mrmimm a r . ^////f / 

'D^WXD "SH^/?/<¥" HBBTnn canr' 

A Convict's Lament 

From Quentin to Corcoran and Pelican Bay, 

Just to name a few of the places we stay. 

Buried alive in a solitary pit, 

Washing my clothes in the same place I shhh. 

Spit, piss, and bathe like a mutha efln' bird 

'Cause you only get to shower on every third 

Day of the week; my situation's bleak. 

Stuck inside a hellhole of utter defeat. 

Months turn to years for a felon in debt 

And never going home is a shocking concept. 

American nightmare, political tool. 

We got thirty-four prisons and every one's full. 

I got issues to spew many choose to eschew 

I'm in tune with the truth 'cause I got the best view. 

This place is a zoo for the vile and uncouth, 

A message to the unruly misguided youth. 

Many sleepless nights spent out of touch with the stars. 

Through the bars I see tattoos and razor blade scars. 

A convict's lament, no crook is exempt 

With more than enough time to plot the next hit. 

So sometimes I question if some really like me. 

Perhaps it's a tactic to get close and strike me. 

Knife me 'cause flghtin' is futile in here 

When you're working with seconds and not one to spare. 

Somewhere in the scope of a trigger-happy cop 

Itchin' to squeeze it and blow off your top. 

No crook is exempt from a convict's lament. 

Reflecting on decades of wasted time spent 

Away from my people who can't comprehend 

That "life" means you never see freedom again. 

My fatherless seed that I never get to see 

So much to be said, but I'll never be freed 

To lead or impart with a few simple tools. 

Like how to evade when you're dealing with fools 

On some hooligan shhh, the danger's imminent. 

Rewind a verse or two the price is evident. 

Movin' PastTlie Past 

Lately I been thinking of the past 

So close behind. 

Where the aftermath of yesterday 

Weighs heavy on my mind. 

Intertwined with new horizons 

And torn between two sides. 

Where the past and present journey 

Eternally collide... 

Nowhere to hide and so I strive to find 

A peace within my quest 

At odds with every demon 

That lurks inside my chest. 

Undaunted by dilemmas, 

I calculate the steps 

Cause every one is crucial 

To resurrect what's left. 

To be a better man than what I've been, 

A better teacher, leader, friend. 

A better father, better son 

Awakened from oblivion. 

Redeem my soul for every sin 

Despite these walls that shut me in. 

Survival's My Relioion 

In a world that's inattentive 

The meek seek hope in vain. 

A hustler drinks to help him think 

And numb his hunger pains. 

Blow life into the game? 

I'll paint a picture crystal clear. 

Survival means to stifle any consequence you fear. 

Like Malcolm X conveyed. 

By any means to persevere. 

These faceless slums and heartless guns 

That curse us far and near. 

Why talk about solutions 

We never act upon? 

Though warring souls may yearn for peace 

The path is stretched too long. 

If there is a god who's watchin' 

I trust he understands 

Why some resort to measures 

Conflicting with his plan. 

On a wretched piece of land I stand, 

A product of "The Hood." 

Where "The Hustle" contradicts intent 

To make it out for good. 

Survival's my religion 

In a narrative that's real. 

Sometimes you have to think and act 

Against the way you feel. 

Like a soldier in distress 

Every step's a constant threat. 

Over money, drugs, and sex. 

Under pressure every step. 

Who's next? Envision death 

Through the eyes of your friends. 

Doped up or locked down 

In correctional pens. 

Out of touch with the stars 

Where nothing else matters. 

Where ruthless minds thrive 

And fragile ones shatter 

To pieces. My thesis, 

A dose of the truth. 

Where the plan's inconclusive 

For saving our youth. 

In a jail cell I mean well. 

Inside of my heart 

Determined to excel 

Where dreams fall apart. 

Alone in the dark 

Where my body grows old 

With nothing but yesterday's demons to hold. 

Dear Beat 

Greetings from Corcoran State Prison. Just wanted to say 
thanks for printing my expressions. Furthermore, thank you 
for your kind words. Your thoughts affirm that my sense of 
direction is on point. I'm inspired by that; thank you again. 

Enclosed you'll find a few more pieces at your disposal. 
I've also included a few things to share my passion for saving 
kids and an outline of a program which I'd like to start, but I 
need participants to bring it to fruition. Hopefully, what I've 
enclosed will speak for itself. I appreciate any feedback you 
can offer. The need for intervention is urgent! And I want to 
do my part in the process any way that I can. I realize y'all 
must be busy. So take your time; I have mastered the art of 

With hopes for a brighter future, take care. 

In solidarity, 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^I^I^^^^^^^ ^WiLi I f,LL i£LL 

'SHf7u/n MnnTnnMB/?¥' 

I Have a Dream 

By Martin Luther King Jr., was delivered on the steps at the Lincoln 
Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963. 

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic 
shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This 
momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions 
of Negro slaves who had been seared in flames of withering 
injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of 

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that 
the Negro is still not free. One hundred years late, the manacles 
of segregation and the chains of discrimination still sadly cripple 
the life of the Negro. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on 
a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material 
prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing 
in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his 
own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appealing 

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. 
When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of 
the Constitution and The Declaration of Independence, they were 
signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. 
This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the 
inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this 
promissory not insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. 
Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given 
the Negro people a bad check in which has come back marked 
"insufficient funds". But we refuse to believe that the bank of 
justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient 
funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have 
come to cash this check-a check that will give us upon demand the 
riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come 
to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of 
now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to 
take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise 
from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path 
of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity 
to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the 
quicksand's of racial justice to the solid rock of brotherhood. 

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the 
moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. 
This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will 
not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and 
equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. 
Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will 
now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns 
to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility 
in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The 
whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our 
nation until the bright day of justice emerges. 

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand 
on the warm threshold, which leads into the palace of justice. In 
the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of 
wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by 
drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. 

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of 
dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to 
degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise 
to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. 
The marvelous new militancy, which has engulfed the Negro 
community, must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for 
many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here 
today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our 
destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We 
cannot walk alone. 

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march 
ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the 
devotees of civil rights, "when will you be satisfied?" We can never 
be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, 
cannot gain lodging in the motels of highways and the hotels of the 
cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility 
is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied 
as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New 
York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no we are not 
satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like 
waters and righteousness like a mighty steam. 

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of 
great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from 

Shawn Montgomery is currently incarcerated in Union Correctional 
Institution in Raiford, Florida. He is stn intelligent writer with a lot 
of knowledge that he wants to share with everyone reading The Beat 
Within. He brings a lot of wisdom to the table giving his take to us 
readers. Without further said, here goes some wisdom for your eardrums 
plus MLK Jr.s "I Have A Dream". 

narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your 
quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution 
and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the 
veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that 
unearned suffering is redemptive. 

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to 
Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of 
our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and 
will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. 

I say to you today, my friends that in spite of the difficulties 
frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply 
rooted in the American dream. 

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live 
out the true meaning of its creed: "we hold these truths to be self- 
evident: that all men are created equal" 

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons 
of former slave-owners will be able to sit-down together at a table 
of brotherhood. 

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a 
desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, 
will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. 

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a 
nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but 
by the content of their character. 

I have a dream today. 

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, who's 
governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of 
interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation 
where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands 
with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters 
and brothers. 

I have a dream today. 

I have a dream today that one day every valley shall be exalted, 
every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will 
be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and 
the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it 

This is our hope. This is the faith, which I return to the South. 
With this faith we be able to hew out the mountain of despair a stone 
of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling 
discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. 
With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, 
to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom 
together, knowing that we will be free one day. 

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able 
to sing with a new meaning; my country, tis of thee, sweet land 
of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father's died, land of the 
pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring. " 

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. 
So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. 
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let 
freedom ring from the heightening AUeghenies of Pennsylvania! 

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! 

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! 

But only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of 

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennes-see! 

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of 

From every mountainside, let freedom ring. 

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village 
and every hamlet, from every state and every city we will be able to 
speed up that day when all of God's children Black men and White 
men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to 
join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at 
last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!" 

In remembrance of 

"A Great King" 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^I^I^^^^ ^^?f{t i J , 'i.^^lLii / 

'SH^wn MnnTnnMB/?¥ canr. ' 

The Truth She Can't Handle 

For years I've listened to women say that they appreciate 
it when men are straight with them. They tell us to say 
what we mean and mean what we say. "No beating around 
the bush" as they put it. 

But I've often wondered if these champions of honesty 
and forwardness could accept the truth if it were revealed 
to them raw and uncut. Today, I'm going to put their 
fortitude to the test. 

I want to know, if they can accept the notion that the 
ball may no longer be in their court; that the dynamic of 
dating and courtship has changed and with it a shift to 
power toward the male of species. 

In actuality, the position of strength has always been 
in the male's corner. But because of hundreds of years of 
western tradition, with the male being placed in the role 
of suitor for the chaste female, the sexual muscle of the 
women has maintained a certain controlling grip on the 
mating ritual, but not anymore. 

Over the last 40 years, the feminist movement has 
produced a generation of women who revel in their 
womanhood. They take pride in their strength and have 
no problems embracing their sexuality. Of course, this 
openness has come with a hefty price. 

Unlike their mothers and grandmothers who were 
placed on pedestals of purity because of how they 
defined what it meant to be a lady, the women of the new 
millennium are dealing with the consequences of exposing 
their hand and revealing themselves to be uninhibited 
creatures with healthy appetites for copulation (sex). 

The frankness of this modern feminine prototype has 
allowed men to re-evaluate their positions and discover 
that their own sexual muscle carries an equal value to 
the one they've been chasing. Couple that knowledge 
with the fact that single Black women outnumber single 
Black men ten-to-one in some cities and there is little 
questions as to which way the scales is tipped. 

With the deck stacked clearly in our favor, it's easy 
to give women the honesty they've always wanted... what 
reason is there to lie? 

When they ask if we're currently involved, the answer 
should be as simple as saying, "yeah, I have a girlfriend 
I'm feeling right now. But I think I can make time for you 
as well, don't worry, my lady is very understanding. As 
a matter of fact, let me introduce you, she's right over 

I know it sounds crazy but since most women are 
already on a time-sharing program, they're unaware of, 
why not put the card on the table so that everyone knows 
where they stand? 

Besides, what choice does she have? She's the victim 
of a numbers game that has created "players" out of 
lames and "pimps" out of chumps. 

By her own account, her only option to combat 
loneliness inside of his chaotic dating scheme includes: 
dating other women, keeping the batteries fresh in her 
pocket rocket, going white, buying a dog, lowering her 
standards, accepting solitude, opening her purse and 
paying the cost for exclusivity or waiting for the prison 
doors to open to offset the unbalance. 

Unfortunately, this is the reality of the new 
relationships paradigm. Women can either find a way to 
win with it or continue living a lie believing some fairytale 
prince is going to come to their rescue. 

This is as real as it gets. Nobody said that the truth 
was pretty. The question is can she handle it? 

The Stnrji nf Eric and Jeremy 

Eric and Jeremy are the same age, attend the same school, and 
even share some classes. They eve live in the same neighborhood. 
But, that's where the similarities end. 

You see, Eric is handsome young boy with his dark hair 
and looks, he even dresses fancy with flared collars, expensive 
shoes, and sometimes even a suit. 

Jeremy on the other hand is a simple young boy. He's 
overweight, has dark hair, and finds it difficult to develop serious 
friendships. He's constantly the object of bullies and bad jokes, 
and sometimes runs away in tears from the hurt he feels. He's 
also prime meat fat a predator. 

Eric is a predator, and sees Jeremy as a person who needs a 
friend and someone he can use. He convinces Jeremy that he's 
the only friend he has and will do anything for him. He even 
stands up for him when the other kids at school pick on him. 

One day, Jeremy happened to overhear a conversation Eric 
was having with some other students. What he heard was Eric 
saying how he actually felt about him, and, what he really meant 
to him as a friend. 

Once again, Jeremy was crushed, but this time he didn't run 
away crying. This time, he got angry and told Eric he didn't need 
that kind of a friend and he'd be fine going through life without 
him as a friend. 

As time went on, Eric became another one of the many kids 
who targeted Jeremy and was cruder than they, because of his 
past closeness to Jeremy. 

Both boys graduated from school, and went on to college. 
Eric ended up dropping out and depending on his good looks 
to get him through life. Jeremy not only graduated from college 
with honors, but also went on to head a fortune 500 company. 

As it turned out, Eric had to humble himself before Jeremy 
and begged him for a favor. Eric, thinking Jeremy is still weak 
and impressionable, wanted Jeremy to take care of him and give 
him money, whenever he wanted it. 

Jeremy decided to take a different approach. He gave Eric a 
job in his company, paid him an entry-level salary, and now has 
Eric calling him sir and apologizing all the time for the way he 
treated Jeremy when they were younger. 

The moral of the story is, no matter what others may think 
of you, what's important is what you think of yourself. 

Wisdnm Thrnuoh Pnetry 

For those of you who haven't had an opportunity to listen to 
spoken word poetry, you don't know what you're missing. The 
messages delivered are to the point, no holds barred, and not 
sugar coated. 

Spoken word poetry is not new to the area. It has been around 
for nearly 20 years, but has gone ignored by the populace that 
prefers loud music, dangerous clubs, and undressed patrons, 

Inasmuch as some people never want anyone to tell them 
what they need to do to make their lives better, there is still a 
need to at least try it before you condemn it. It couldn't hurt, and 
you could walk away with more than you bargained for. 

The poets speak of the need for awareness and the reality of 
our day-to-day lives. Some of it may come across as a bit radical, 
but the truth sometimes has to hurt. 

These men and women are very educated when it comes to 
the economics and social graces we take for granted. They spend 
more at the firing line than any of us, and they see and hear the 
things we ignore. 

Sometimes, when its revealed to someone, the things they 
try to pretend don't exist, that word is perceived as radical or 
just plain trouble. 

Throughout the live of African-Americans, awareness is 
something that's always been preached. The late Malcolm X 
and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were at the forefront of creating 
awareness, and since they were silenced, no one else has stepped 
forward. Awareness has taken a back seat and our communities 
have turned into battlegrounds. 

Just as families once worshipped together in church, that 
the union is what spoken words poets are trying to recreate. 
If you listen to their words and put them in perspective, you'll 
begin to see the logic in what they're saying. 

It's never too late to admit you're wrong. Give spoken word 
poetry a try and see if it's beneficial to you. I'm sure you'll leave 
either refreshed or angry. Either way, you've left with more than 
you came in with. 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,////// // 

^I^I^^^^^^^^ ^M L ',S/J.iJJL 

'fff^F-f^BL /?BnTB/?X^' 

Walking Blind 

Greetings, with the utmost love and respect to all who read 
this. Now, a real quick introduction of myself. I am a 22 
year old man, who is doing time in state prison. I'm not 
saying I know it all, but I want to share what I have been 
through and continue to go through with those who are 
"walking blind" to the truth of this life and think it is cool 
to come to the "pinta". 

Hopefully, I can guide and shine some light and save a 
life of our young Raza. I'm young myself and I understand 
what and how a lot of you younger Raza feel and are going 
through. You want to be down for your hood, county, etc. I 
ain't downing that in any way whatsoever. But, ask yourself, 
what's your hood got to offer you? Is it going to pay your 
bills? Is it going to put money on your books? Is it going to 
write you? Is it going to visit you? 

I know this sounds dumb, but take a minute and think 
about it.. .Here is my answer: NO! NO! NO! NO! And NO! Let 
me enlighten all who wish to be. Death or prison, that's 
what it's got to offer. Now, I don't want to be a hypocrite 
due to the fact that I'm still in this game myself, (Yes, I 
know... :-() but this is exactly what I want to share with 
all of you. Once you come to prison (pinta), there ain't no 
laying it down or saying you don't want to ride no more 
without consequences; this is the real deal. Nowhere to 
run. Nowhere to hide. Forget sleeping. Forget the streets. 

Now let me take you back to when I was a young teen. 
Now, the true meaning of a "G-G" is one who is going to 
guide you in the right direction and inform you of the 
struggles of the life behind these walls and not want you 
to have to go through it as well. Now, sad to say, I never 

Rafael Renteria gives u% his insight from the state prison in 
Soiedad, California. Rafael wants to share with u% his thoughts 
about the game, being that he is inside the Pen and trapped inside. 
He want s all you readers that^ involved with gangs and selling drugs 
to realize a few things about the game and prison life itself. It's not a 
cool place to be. He is telling y'all that there are two things that are 
guaranteed being involved in that lifestyle. Y'all can guess the answers 
for yourselves, but here's Rafael with some knowledge about the game 
that he wants all you young readers to know. 

listened to none of them. You know that old saying, "I 
should have listened." Well, every morning I wake up and 
tell myself that. Yeah, at age fourteen I wanted to be the 
baddest mutha on the block, wanted to go to the Pinta and 
earn my stripes. Oooh, how "blind" I was. I wish I would 
have listened and gone to school, played sports, but once 
you're here, all you can do is wish. I don't want that to 
be you, sitting in a cell "wishing," wishing you did that or 
"I know I could have" because once them cell doors lock, 
you're going to be wishing. 

I want all to take heed because you all have a chance 
to change your lives around and be the ones who make 
it out of the hood, to be the ones to say, "I did it." I know 
change ain't easy, but you must have the will power to want 
to succeed in life. 

I, myself, am having a difficult time with change, too, but 
all of you young gents in Juvy, camps, etc., look at where 
you're at or even if you haven't been to any, think and think 
hard, is that what you really want out of life? Caged up like 
an animal with a bunch of men or, if you're a girl, with a 
bunch of women? Think about it... Until next time. 

Much respect. 

Enlightened One 

/ want all to take heed heca^se tfOM all have a chance to change tfour 
lives aromd and he the ones who make It oMt of the hood, to he the 
ones tosatf, "I did It," j 

What The World Has to Say... 

"I feel." "I feel also," and the World says... 

"I am right!" "NO! I am right," and the World says... 

"It is like this." "NO! It is like this!" and the World says... 

"You're not hearing me." "I do not want to hear you," and 

the World says... 
"You're out of here!" "I cim gone then!" and the World says... 

"I lost some skin on that one." "I lost sleep," and the 
World says... 

"Oh, it is you again." "Yeah, it is me," and the World 


"Aye, have a nice day." "You, too," and the World says... 

"How you been doing?" "Fine," and the World says... 

"I have some good news." "Tell me,"" and the World says... 

"Here, look at my dreams." "Oh, very beautiful," and the 

World says... 

"Listen to this song." "That was great," and the World says... 

"I did not mean for it to be like that." "I know," and the 


The very powerful, and of course talented Thee Mouseman graces 
us with another thought-provoking piece of writing from Pleasant 
Valley State Prison in Coalinga, Ca. Mouseman, you sure can say things 

World says... 

"I wish I could do this cdl over again," £ind the World says... 

"It's O.K., just do not do it like that again," and the World says... 

No matter what we say, the World is going to whisper... 

It took me the majority of my life to understand that what 
the World has to say does not matter much. "They" love to 
whisper about what we "should be" saying to each other... 

Now that I am grown up, the World has no say about 

my affairs. What we have to say to each other is all that 


You just might want to really trip off this; it is coming 

from a guy who has spent thirty one years in a cage. Old 

Man Talkin' Here... 

Am I lying? Any questions? Be well, lil' folks. 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^j/^ywj Eimmm^mu r - #////// 

'^nSB^H U/XL,L,X^MS' 

'L,XL,' Af^H' 

Joseph Williams is a new contributor from Arizona State Prison 
Complex in Tlicson, Arizona. Welcome aboard, Joseph! Glad to have 
your contribution. We hope to hear more from you down the road. We 
also look forward to hearing about who you are and of course how you 
found this publication. 

The Light Is The Only Sun I See 

The light is the only sun I see. 

It's smile brings many faces, but the shine took over. 

A blind person could see this light; a man approaches, 

only to talk and walk. 

He had a walkman for me. 

He looked like I knew him from somewhere. 

The music of jazz went past me. 

A woman went past me holding the sun. 

I only began to take notice of these things. 

There was a song I used to sing; 

Misty Blue came to mind by D. Moore. 

The light of the sun seems fine 

The light seems jealous, but that's not all right 

I only want a friend I could call my own 

It was all right. 

The watf tfoi4 platf life 

is Mp to ifOM, 


Kurtis Newill please "Say It" sk% ... 

from a coirrectional facility in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. We always 

like hearing what you have to %x^, Kurtis! 

Lir Man sends his greetings to all you Beat Readers. He is locked 
up in the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, Ca. Lil' 
Man, even though he's young is trying to share his input on the game 
because he's a living testament. He's going through it right now. So he 
wants all you youngsters out there that are claiming turfs, and banging 
blocks to realize a couple things about the "the game." Go ahead Lil' 
Man spit some game to all the young readers and let them know a little 
something about life and being trapped in the game. 

True Tn The Game, But Nn Lnve 

Hi, Beat. My name is Lil' Man. The only truth of life is 
a trick, so my story, "True to the Game, But No Love" is 
of my life. 

When you are sentenced, given a number, and locked 
away from the world, life seems hopeless; you feel like a 
failure in the world's eyes, worth nothing. 

But in a world where evil lurks on every street corner, 
peace within oneself is a hard thing to come by. We must 
travel beyond mere existence and live our lives to the 
fullest the best we can. Things have been so hard for a 
race of our color and misused and rejected people that 
our Mexican people are still suffering. The streets can 
make you and the streets can break you. 

The way you play life is up to you. Those caught in 
the trap of temporary pleasures, let me tell you, the root 
of all evil is the love of money and the next man's pain will 
surely come back to haunt you. 


Lucero Herrera was one of our most loyal and prolific writers in our 
Sskn Francisco Juvenile Hall girls' unit and now is awaiting trial in 
S^n Francisco County Jail. She always writes poems and short stories, 
often about her family and always straight from her heart. Today she 
writes about how sad and how much it hurts her that her father, whom 
she finally found, hasn't been supporting her in skn^ way, since she's 
been incarcerated. 

Say It 

Refuse to lose 

Beg, borrow, pick and choose 

I'm crafty and lay out my sun designs 

Refined like cheese and wine 

No love for one time 

A life or era of crime 

Leaves some blind 

Unable to find the true spirit 

The air let me clear it 
Signed and sealed with a kiss 

Thoughts About Thoughts 

A thought afforded 

Knowledge afforded 

A soul's peace accorded 

Sometimes we walk blind 

When a light is what we needed to find 

We're kept in the dark 

Till a spark ignites instinct 

I think I don't want to blink 

Sailing rough seas 

Tide, waves, and wind 

Search for truth a given 

Ynu Was Suppnsed Tn Be Arnnnd 

Mom said you gonna be there 

But all the words you said 

Sounded so friendly 

No money on my books, no visit, don't accept my calls 

You drive me crazy 

Wake up, I'm your daughter 

Why front 

And put on a smile and lie to me? 

I see your true color 

You're just like the rest of my enemies 

Out of all people you gave up on me 

Is coo', though, it's nothin' 

I'm strong like a dolphin's rock 

Go help my brother 

Get him back 

I rather be here 

Than home with you 

You see all the things you make me do 

I'll always love you 

Not hate you 

But out of all people 

You was supposed to be around. 


-fiWi vAiiL. 

Cold i^Wi 





Q^jv^l Idr -H\is fct^ >Luy ii^-g.! 






American Highmare, political tool, 

We got thinif-foMK pKlsoHs and evert/ om 's full 

I got Issues to spew maut/ choose to eschew 

I'm IH tme with the truth 'cause I got the hest view 

read the rest of David "BharKif" KeetoH's BWO oh page 3F^